GreenLight acquires Bayer’s topical RNA Intellectual Property portfolio

An RNA product to protect bees against varroa mites

GreenLight Biosciences today announced that they have acquired rights to portions of Bayer’s topical RNA Intellectual Property portfolio. These assets include bee health capabilities to protect against Varroa mites, a major threat to honeybees.

The RNA-based Varroa mite control advance allows beekeepers to directly target the Varroa mite without harming the honeybee, a critical advantage to other treatments on the market today.

RNA’s potential for improving plant, animal and human health has been known for years, but widespread commercial use hasn’t previously been possible, due to RNA’s cost of production, and slow production time.

GreenLight’s proprietary, cell-free method enables the company to produce low-cost, high-quality, high-scale RNA in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

“GreenLight’s manufacturing capability, along with their technical expertise in RNA applications, made them the ideal candidate to move these technologies forward,” said Shaun Selness, Bayer Head of Emerging Technologies. “Bayer’s project team made significant technical progress over the past several years on an RNA-based Varroa mite control concept and GreenLight is best positioned to bring a cost-effective product to market.”

GreenLight is committed to innovating sustainable solutions for plant health, human health, and animal health, and to making these solutions affordable and accessible.

“GreenLight is working to address humanity’s greatest challenges, from producing vaccines to protecting bees and other beneficial insects like ladybugs. The Covid vaccine has shown just how well scientific advances can be used to protect our health. We can use the same advances to help keep bees healthy – as if we are inoculating whole hives of bees,” said Andrey Zarur, CEO and founder of GreenLight Biosciences. “It is an honor to acquire the rights to Bayer’s groundbreaking technical work, so that we can bring it to beekeepers everywhere.”

You can find out more about GreenLight’s work on bees here.

Update: The Economist has written up GreenLight’s work on bees here.

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a close up of a bee perching on a flower

GreenLight partners with Fraunhofer IME

Fraunhofer IME will provide access to scientific experts and state-of-the art laboratory resources to boost GreenLight Biosciences’ research and development capabilities. Founded in 1949 to advance commercial application of basic science, Fraunhofer is known for a wide range of innovations with global impact, ranging from the MP3 standard for music compression to solar panels of world record breaking efficiency.

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Five peer-reviewed papers released in 2020

FASEB Journal

Bio-lethal effect of BAPCs-dsRNA formulations for genetics-based pest management

Environmental Microbiology

Multiple environmental parameters impact lipid cyclization in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius

Analytical Methods (Royal Chemistry Society)

Complete enzymatic digestion of double-stranded RNA to nucleosides enables accurate quantification of dsRNA

Frontiers in Plant Science

Safety Considerations for Humans and Other Vertebrates Regarding Agricultural Uses of Externally Applied RNA Molecules

Frontiers in Bioengineering & Biotechnology

Sublethal Endpoints in Non-target Organism Testing for Insect-Active GE Crops

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