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First successful report of genome editing in Cannabis

CanBreed, announced today that as part of its R&D efforts to develop Powdery Mildew resistance in Cannabis, it has succeeded to detect a genome editing event in Cannabis. This milestone was achieved using the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology which awarded its inventors the 2020 Nobel prize in Chemistry. This announcement comes after CanBreed secured a commercial license to the foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patents from the patent holders – Corteva Biosciences and Broad Institute (of MIT and Harvard Universities).

This achievement comes after 3 years of arduous research carried out by CanBreed’s R&D team, which is composed of geneticists, molecular biologists and agronomists that joined CanBreed from leading research institutes and seed companies in Israel. To the best of CanBreed’s knowledge, this is the first time an attempt by a commercial company to edit the Cannabis plant, using the CRISPR-Cas9 technology was successful and CanBreed is pleased to announce this significant achievement which is also an important milestone in CanBreed’s roadmap of completing the development and commercialization of its products.

Using Canbreed's genome editing capabilities, the company will be able to develop plants exhibiting improved agronomical traits, essential for large scale, high-quality and cost-efficient cultivation.

CanBreed has applied for a number of patent applications covering the most essential agronomical traits in Cannabis, such as Powdery Mildew resistance (one of the most common and acute diseases in cannabis cultivation) and achieving flowering independent of day length. Improved agronomical plant performance coupled with CanBreed’s stable Cannabis seeds will enable growers to cultivate uniform Cannabis and Hemp plants in the most effective and repetitive manner, thus rapidly bridging the gap that currently exists between common cultivation practices of Cannabis compared to other commodity crops such as tomatoes and wheat.

Ido Margalit, CEO of CanBreed

CanBreed’s CEO, Ido Margalit, added “As a young Israeli company, we are very excited and proud to present this extraordinary achievement, which will change the face of Cannabis cultivation in Israel and around the world. Such developments will enable CanBreed to provide Cannabis cultivators with the much-needed solution of uniform and enhanced Cannabis plants that will pave the road to the standardization of the industry.

For more information:
Birkat Am St 54, Giv'at Hen, Israel  

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