GHENT, Belgium, Oct. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), a leader in synthetic biology, announced today that it has entered into its first Exclusive Channel Collaboration (ECC) with a startup backed by an investment fund sponsored by Harvest Capital Strategies, LLC. The fund is believed to be the world's first fund dedicated to the inventions and discoveries of a single company. The collaboration with the startup entity, Thrive Agrobiotics, Inc., will seek to utilize Intrexon's ActoBiotics® platform to express nutritive proteins for improving the overall growth and feed efficiency in piglets, thereby expanding the application of this innovative biologic delivery platform to animals.
"Through this collaboration, we see enormous potential to enhance the sustainability of food production, by supporting the nutritional, healthy growth of porcine animals. As the most consumed meat in the world today, pork plays an important role in the supply of essential animal protein to mankind," said Pieter Rottiers, Ph.D., Vice President, Intrexon Actobiotics Division. "We are excited to collaborate on this program with the first start-up enabled through Intrexon's technology platform and backed by the Harvest-sponsored fund."
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) predicts that by 2050 global consumption of animal protein will be two-thirds higher than current levels driven by population growth and changing consumption patterns. Pork is the most widely eaten meat in the world today followed by poultry and beef, making it a key source of animal protein for humans. FAO estimates that worldwide production of indigenous pig meat in 2010 was $168 billion and that pork accounts for 36% of global meat consumption. With FAO projecting significant growth from those levels, increases in efficient, healthy production will be vital to meet growing demand in a sustainable manner.
In commercial production systems for swine, the early weaning of piglets has several key advantages including improving feed conversion efficiency of the piglet, shortening farrowing intervals to encourage rebreeding, and minimizing the potential transfer of disease from sow to offspring. Additionally, specialized feeds have improved pig performance in the nursery and help smooth the transition to processed feed after weaning which is important for both growth and health on a short-term and long-term basis. Therefore, improving growth and feed efficiency during the nursery stage has the potential to substantially increase the value of market age pigs, while diminishing on a per pound basis their required inputs, including feed, land and water.
The collaboration intends to use the versatile ActoBiotics® platform to release well-characterized growth factors directly to the gastrointestinal tract to support intestinal maturation and function, as well as to enhance nutrient absorption in early weaned pigs. The goal is to develop an efficacious and cost-effective biologic that easily integrates into current commercial pork production systems and promotes growth performance, feed efficiency and a more sustainable food supply.
Under the terms of the ECC agreement, Intrexon will receive a technology access fee in the form of equity, reimbursement for all research and development costs, milestones and backend economics in the form of royalties.
About Harvest Strategies, LLC
Harvest Capital Strategies, LLC, is a San Francisco-based investment adviser that began operations in September 1999, and acts as the investment manager of the fund. Harvest is an indirect subsidiary of JMP Group LLC (NYSE: JMP), a public company that operates its alternative asset management business through Harvest Capital Strategies and its investment banking, equity research and institutional brokerage business through JMP Securities LLC.
About Intrexon Corporation
Intrexon Corporation (NYSE:XON) is Powering the Bioindustrial Revolution with Better DNA™ to create biologically-based products that improve the quality of life and the health of the planet. The Company's integrated technology suite provides its partners across diverse markets with industrial-scale design and development of complex biological systems delivering unprecedented control, quality, function, and performance of living cells. We call our synthetic biology approach Better DNA®, and we invite you to discover more at www.dna.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Some of the statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon our current expectations and projections about future events and generally relate to our plans, objectives and expectations for the development of our business. Although management believes that the plans and objectives reflected in or suggested by these forward-looking statements are reasonable, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and actual future results may be materially different from the plans, objectives and expectations expressed in this press release.
For more information regarding Intrexon Corporation, contact:
Vice President, Investor Relations
Tel: +1 (561) 410-7052
Marie Rossi, Ph.D.
Senior Manager, Technical Communications
Tel: +1 (301) 556-9850
SOURCE Intrexon Corporation