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Cibus Raises $70M for Marketing of Gene-Edited Canola, More R&D

Xconomy San Diego — 

Sales of Cibus’ first product, a gene-edited canola, have gone so well that the San Diego company has raised $70 million in new financing to boost its commercialization efforts.

The Series C round of funding announced Tuesday was led by Fidelity Management and Research Company, and was joined by Alexandria Venture Investments, Cormorant Asset Management, and other unnamed investors.

Cibus’s first commercial product is SU Canola, a variety of canola that is tolerant to sulfonylurea, a type of herbicide. The company achieved this herbicide tolerance with its proprietary Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS) technology, which edits genes without introducing foreign DNA. The company says RTDS results in predictable outcomes that are identical to what could occur in nature over time.

Cibus disclosed no financial details for sales of SU Canola, other than to say that it has experienced triple digit sales growth in the past two years and inventory is now sold out. In addition to supporting sales of the canola product, Cibus says the new capital will back the R&D and commercialization of other crops. The company plans to launch its herbicide-tolerant flax in the U.S. next year. The Cibus pipeline also includes herbicide-tolerant rice, as well as a potato crop that is resistant to Phytophthora, the fungal disease that caused the Great Famine in Ireland.

The latest financing comes 11 months after Cibus closed a $57 million Series B round ahead of SU Canola’s launch in Canada. Here’s more on Cibus’ technology and its approach to developing new crop traits.

Photo by Cibus