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Precision BioSciences and DuPont Pioneer Announce Publication of Plant Genome Engineering Success

Male-sterile corn plants produced using DNE technology


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, North Carolina, and DES MOINES, Iowa, October 31, 2013 - Precision BioSciences, Inc., and DuPont Pioneer today announced that The Plant Journal has published an article detailing collaborative cutting-edge research to generate male-sterile corn plants. Researchers at Pioneer used Precision's advanced genome engineering technology, called DNE, to "knockout" or disable the function of the ms26 gene in corn. Knocking out this gene has enabled Pioneer to produce corn plants that are male-sterile, a powerful tool for hybrid seed production.

The article further details how the Precision and Pioneer research teams were able to optimize a DNE gene-editing tool to maximize its efficiency in corn. This optimization process, which involves modulating the DNA-cutting activity of a gene-editing enzyme, can only be performed with Precision's proprietary DNE technology. The optimization step was found to be critical for high-efficiency gene-editing activity in corn.

"We are thrilled with the results published by The Plant Journal," said Jeff Smith, Precision BioSciences' Chief Science Officer and one of the study's authors. "This is a clear demonstration of why DNE's unique combination of high-targeting flexibility, site-specificity, and activity modulation is so critical for the production of high-value products."

The collaboration to develop DNE technology for agricultural applications began in 2008 and has already delivered actionable results. The work described in this publication enables the creation of genetic male sterile plants similar to those used in the Pioneer proprietary Seed Production Technology (SPT) process. This work paves the way to extend SPT process to additional crops and genes. The SPT process is an innovative technology developed to increase the quality, productivity and efficiency of hybrid seed production. Pioneer has implemented the process in its hybrid seed corn production fields, and is working toward its deployment in other crops, such as rice.

"Our collaboration with Precision Biosciences is a great example of two leading technology experts coming together to deliver new value to the agricultural industry," said Michael Lassner, DuPont Pioneer Vice President of Trait Discovery and Technology. "This is the first of many applications we are exploring for the optimized DNE technology."

About Precision BioSciences
Precision BioSciences' mission is to continually provide, improve, and enable the world's most powerful genome engineering technology. Precision's proprietary Directed Nuclease Editor™ (DNE) technology enables the production of genome editing enzymes that can insert, remove, modify, and regulate essentially any gene in mammalian or plant cells.

Precision BioSciences' vision is to be the conduit through which the world's greatest genome engineering challenges are solved. Precision has successfully utilized its DNE technology to create innovative products in partnerships with many of the world's largest biopharmaceutical and agbiotech firms.  Internally, Precision is developing DNE-based products for biologics manufacturing and human therapeutics.  For additional information, please visit www.precisionbiosciences.com.

About DuPont Pioneer
DuPont Pioneer is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success®.

About DuPont
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.

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10/31/13

Contacts:
Precision BioSciences: Chelsea Lynam, phone: +1 919 314-5512
E-mail: chelsea.lynam@precisionbiosciences.com
 
DuPont Pioneer: Bridget Anderson, phone: +1 515 535-3120
E-mail: bridget.anderson@pioneer.com