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Commercializing genomics research the focus of new partnership


Toronto, ON – January 15, 2004 – Agricultural biotechnology company Performance Plants and the Ontario Genomics Institute say they have partnered to fund promising genomics research and to identify high-value commercial opportunities in academia, in an effort to nurture projects through the critical pre-commercialization process.

“Ontario needs to shrink the gap between funded research and venture investment in the commercialization of its genomics discoveries,” says Ronnie Gavsie, Ontario Genomics Institute’s president and CEO. “Partnering with Performance Plants gives OGI the opportunity to serve as a catalyst for moving research discoveries along the path towards commercialization.”

For their first initiative, the partners will collaborate with Drs Marilyn Griffith and Barbara A Moffat of the University of Waterloo and Elizabeth A Weretilnyk of McMaster University to develop transgenic plants with enhanced agronomic traits.

“The primary concern among farmers, whether they live in North America or Africa, is to produce crops that will have high, predictable yields from one year to the next” said David Dennis, president and CEO of Performance Plants. “

Many of the inventions and discoveries arising through basic research and development programmes require significant investment and scientific resources to demonstrate commercial viability. The two partners say they are committed to working together in order to migrate Canadian intellectual property into the marketplace.