Thursday, July 25, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Handing the Farming a Goldmine of Biofuels

Yield10 Bioscience, an agricultural bioscience company, has officially signed off on a partnership with VISION Bioenergy Oilseeds to grant latter the license of certain proprietary varieties containing Camelina sativa (“Camelina”). Aiming to manufacture feedstock oil for biofuels, the stated development will let farmers capitalize on the growing biofuel market, while simultaneously helping them advance decarbonization goals of aviation, maritime, and heavy-duty transport industries. Under the agreed terms, Yield10 will supply VISION with certain spring and winter Camelina varieties, including varieties exhibiting herbicide tolerance to spray application of broadleaf herbicide glufosinate, and tolerance to soil residual Group 2 herbicides. Once that is done, VISION will have a three-year period of exclusivity to commercialize the licensed traits and varieties for use in biofuels. Markedly enough, after the stated three years are over, the license in question is going to convert and take up a non-exclusive status worldwide. Amidst all this, Yield10 will retain the right to sublicense its Camelina traits and varieties, as well as to continue to utilize and develop these Camelina varieties for the purpose of producing omega-3 oil and other Camelina oil and meal products. To make the entire licensing arrangement happen, VISION will pay cash payments of upto $3 million in total.

“Yield10 has done outstanding work developing leading herbicide technology in Camelina, and acquiring these rights and access to seed will enable us to accelerate our commercial activities,” said Don Panter, CEO of VISION Bioenergy Oilseeds. “Herbicide tolerance is critical to enable a ramp up in commercial production of Camelina. With this license, we’ll be able to significantly expand our contract production of Camelina suited for use as a cover crop or in rotation with other commercial crops. In 2024, we plan to sample this herbicide tolerance system with some of our key Camelina growers, while simultaneously building planting seed supply to support a potential commercial launch in 2025.”

As for what makes Yield10 an ideal candidate to have on such an expedition, the answer talks up its industry-leader stature in the context of developing elite Camelina, including herbicide tolerant varieties. This stature was only reinforced further when, in November 2023, USDA-APHIS approved Yield10’s glufosinate tolerant Camelina, and its stacked herbicide tolerant Camelina for planting and breeding in the United States. There is also an application pending to add Camelina to a glufosinate label with the US Environmental Protection Agency.

“We believe that VISION is well positioned to support ramp-up of commercial acres of Camelina and delivery of feedstock oil to their energy partner for biofuels,” said Oliver Peoples, Ph.D, CEO of Yield10 Bioscience. “With this license in place to our partner Vision providing a path to scale and market our Camelina technology in biofuels, we believe this is the best way to enable the value chain for Camelina as a valuable crop at very large scale. As the scale of production grows, we believe the value of our advanced trait technologies can be accessed through future partnership or licensing agreements.”