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2013 News

December 2013

Beneforté recognised in top European technology transfer Impact showcase

The Beneforté story has been selected amongst the 14 top technology transfer stories in Europe and is showcased in the special ASTP 2013 “Impact Report for Europe”. ASTP (www.astp.net) is the European Association of Technology Transfer Professionals and principal association for public sector TT in Europe. Its Europe-wide survey highlighted outstanding examples of products made possible by European public research, and which have the potential to dramatically alter lives of people for the better. The Beneforté story is one of just 14 selected as the top examples, and is included in the new report.

Please click here for the Beneforté story, or here to buy the full report.

For more information, please contact Dr Jan Chojecki.



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November 2013

Julieta Cabello named among most promising innovators : MIT Technology Review

Julieta Cabello has been named among the top young innovators in Argentina and Uruguay by MIT Technology Review for her work on the HaHb1 technology (PBL Tech Id 08.465). Julieta works with Dra Raquel Chan at the CONICET laboratory in the Faculty of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences of the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (Santa Fe, Argentina). The HaHb1 technology has great potential to enhance crops yields though improved tolerance to abiotic stress. PBL manages the intellectual property associated with the HaHb1 technology and has granted commercial rights for various crops to major development partners in the agri-bioscience industry. 

Please click the links for the full article in English or Spanish

For more information about the HaHB1 technology, please contact Dr Jan Chojecki




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September 2013

Beneforté Super Broccoli Website goes live!

A new website is now live providing everything you ever wanted to know about Beneforté broccoli and glucoraphanin in the diet.  The site contains information about how Beneforté was developed, where you can buy it, the large body of scientific research on glucoraphanin and even recipe ideas from leading chefs.  Please click here to visit the website.

For more information, please contact Dr Jan Chojecki.

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August 2013

PBL RNAi partner Dicerna Secures $60 Million in Series C Financing

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Dicerna), a second generation RNA interference (RNAi) company focused on developing novel therapeutics utilizing its proprietary Dicer Substrate siRNA (DsiRNA) Technology™ and EnCore™ delivery system, and a major partner for PBL’s RNAi intellectual property estate, has announced that it has closed an oversubscribed Series C financing of $60 million in on 1 August 2013.  The proceeds will advance Dicerna’s RNAi-based therapeutics into clinical studies and will also be used to develop further innovative drug delivery systems.
Please click here for the news release.

For more information about licensing PBL's RNAi intellectual property, please contact Dr Lars von Borcke, or click here for a link to the Short RNA section on our website.

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August 2013

Eating Broccoli retunes Metabolism : Major breakthrough in understanding effects of Glucoraphanin

Richard Mithen and colleagues have published their latest findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The research gives the first insight into why consuming glucoraphanin, found in broccoli, is associated with a reduction in risk such a diverse range of conditions such as cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes. 

Reference: A diet rich in high glucoraphanin broccoli interacts with genotype to reduce discordance in plasma metabolite profiles through modulating mitochondrial disfunction.  Charlotte N. Armah et al 10.3945/ajcn.113.065235 will be published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on 31st July 2013. 

Beneforté high-glucoraphanin broccoli is available in UK in M&S and ASDA and a range of retail outlets across USA.

Please click here for more information, or contact Dr Jan Chojecki.

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July 2013

Medicago announces agreement to be acquired by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma in a transaction valued at $357M

Medicago, PBL’s principal commercial partner for the HT-CPMV plant-based protein expression system, has announced that it will be acquired by Mitsubishi Tanebe Pharma.  This brings together Medicago’s ground-breaking vaccine production platform with Mitsubishi’s global vaccine distribution network.  PBL’s HT-CPMV protein expression system was developed by George Lomonossoff at the John Innes Centre.

Please click here for the Medicago press release.

For more information on HT-CPMV, please contact Dr Lars von Borcke.

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April 2013

Beneforté Broccoli - New Research Published - Explained: Why Beneforte reliably delivers more glucoraphanin than standard broccoli

Reliably higher levels of healthy compound in Beneforté broccoli 

Field trials and genetic studies have shown that a new variety of broccoli reliably yields higher levels of a health-promoting compound.

Broccoli contains a compound called glucoraphanin, which has been shown to promote health by maintaining cardiovascular health and a reduction in the risk of cancer. A long term breeding programme to increase glucoraphanin levels has resulted in the commercial release of Beneforté broccoli. Beneforté was developed by crossing standard broccoli with a wild relative derived from Sicily. 

Publicly funded research to develop Beneforté broccoli was led by two of the UK’s world-leading biological research institutes: the Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Centre, on the Norwich Research Park. They both receive strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). 

Three years of field trials at over 50 different sites in Europe and the United states have shown that Beneforté broccoli consistently produces 2-3 times the amount of glucoraphanin than other leading varieties of broccoli, without affecting yield, quality or the levels of other nutrients. 

Glucoraphanin contains sulphur, which broccoli derives from the soil. New research, published in the journal New Phytologist, shows that Beneforté increases the amount of sulphur it takes up from the soil, and also channels more of it into glucoraphanin. Genetic analysis identified a single gene derived from the original wild relative that is responsible for both of these changes. In standard broccoli varieties, different soils can cause variation in glucoraphanin levels. These findings explain how Beneforté consistently delivers more glucoraphanin than ordinary broccoli. 

Professor Richard Mithen of the Institute of Food Research is now leading ongoing studies to understand how glucoraphanin in Beneforté exerts its effects on human health, with particular focus on the cardiovascular system and prostate cancer. 

Beneforté broccoli was launched in the UK in 2011 and is available from Marks and Spencer and Asda. 

Reference: Genetic regulation of glucoraphanin accumulation in Beneforté broccoli.  Traka M H, et al.  New Phytologist (2013) doi: 10.1111/nph.12232 

For more information, please contact Dr Jan Chojecki at PBL, or Andrew Chapple at IFR +44 1603 251490.

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April 2013

Dicerna and PBL Sign Agreement for Baulcombe & Hamilton RNAi Patents

WATERTOWN, Mass. & Norwich, UK, April, 9, 2013 – Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Dicerna), a second generation RNA interference (RNAi) company focused on developing novel therapeutics utilizing its proprietary Dicer Substrate siRNA (DsiRNA) Technology™ and EnCore™ delivery system, and Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL), today announced that they have entered an agreement for a non-exclusive licence to PBL’s RNAi intellectual property estate. PBL will grant Dicerna a world-wide, non-exclusive license to the Baulcombe patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 8,097,710; 8,258,285; 8,299,235 and 8,263,569) for use in the field of human therapeutics. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Please click here to read article in full, and here for a link to the Short RNA section on our website. 

For more information please contact: 

+1 617-612-6214  Jim Weissman, Chief Business Officer, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 
+1 617-730-8284  Michele Rozen, Pure Communications 

+44 1603 456500  Rebecca McIntosh, Plant Bioscience Ltd


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March 2013

PBL Awarded Further US Patent on Short RNAi Molecules: US 8,349,607

Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL) is pleased to announce that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued US Patent No. 8,349,607. This is the first patent to extend the method claims into specific applications. The patent claims methods to silence target genes in a second cell or organism which is one of the major applications for the use of RNAi silencing in organisms. 

Please click here for a link to the Short RNA section on our website. 

For licensing enquiries, please contact Dr Lars von Borcke. All other enquiries to info@pbltechnology.com.

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January 2013

Bioneer acquires Model Gut Contract Research business and is granted licence to the Dynamic Gastric Model

The Dynamic Gastric Model expands Bioneer's readily available services for pharmaceutical dosage form testing, drug discovery screening, bioequivalence assessment, and functional food analysis. 

Bioneer has signed an exclusive license agreement with UK technology management company Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL), regarding use of the Dynamic Gastric Model (DGM) developed at the Institute of Food Research, UK. Bioneer has also acquired PBL's highly successful DGM contract research business (Model Gut) which provides specialist DGM services to the pharmaceutical and food-related industries. The Model Gut services will be integrated into Bioneer's own service offering, under the Bioneer:FARMA brand. The DGM is a breakthrough in the accurate simulation of the human gastric compartment. It is the first truly 'dynamic' in vitro system that fully replicates the complex biochemical conditions, as well as the array of gastric forces crucial for the prediction of the bio-performance of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and pharmaceutical dosage forms. 

Please click here to read article in full, here for a link to the Model Gut section on our website.

For more information please contact: 
Professor Anette Müllertz, Head of Department, Bioneer:FARMA 
Rebecca McIntosh at PBL


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