Global food security is a big concept for a small company.
To achieve its lofty goals, Yield10 Bioscience, Inc. is focused on developing new technologies to achieve step-change improvements in crop yields. The company has an extensive track record of innovation based around optimizing the flow of carbon in living systems, and it is leveraging its technology platforms and knowledge base to design precise alterations to gene activity and the flow of carbon in plants to produce higher yields with lower inputs of land, water or fertilizer.
Yield10 is advancing several yield traits it has developed in crops such as Camelina, canola, soybean and corn. Its “Trait Factory” encompasses discovery of gene targets using GRAIN (“Gene Ranking Artificial Intelligence Network”) big data mining platform, deployment of trait gene targets in the oilseed Camelina and generation of field performance data.
Yield10 brings a unique history and skill set, captured in our GRAIN data mining gene discovery platform, for developing advanced crop traits and increasing the concentration of specific biochemicals of commercial interest in crops. Its plan is to also use GRAIN to develop a source of revenue from funded research and development collaborations for traits, products and crops not being directly pursued internally. Yield10 is currently engaged in a range of discussions with third parties with respect to different crops, traits and products in the feed, food and pharmaceutical sectors.
Over the last four years, the company has been evaluating certain traits in greenhouse studies and field tests conducted in the United States and Canada. It currently has three non-exclusive research license agreements in place: with the Crop Science division of Bayer, for the evaluation of C3003 and C3004 traits in soybean; with Forage Genetics for the evaluation of five yield traits in for agesorghum; and with Simplot for evaluation of three traits in potato.
Yield10 has progressed its evaluation of C3003 and C3004 in field tests with Camelina and canola and plan to continue its field testing in the 2020 growing season. In Camelina, it has demonstrated the potential of a series of traits, including C3003 and C3004 to significantly increase seed yield and genome edited traits including C3007-C3010 to increase seed oil content and filed a new patent application on a potentially breakthrough technology for producing PHA biomaterials.
Yield10 has a pipeline of more than 10 novel yield traits in research and development and we expect to generate several proof points for our traits in various crops over the next two years. The company is building a portfolio of intellectual property around our crop yield technology and traits. As of December 31, 2019, it owned or held exclusive rights to 22 patents or pending patent applications worldwide related to advanced technologies for increasing yield in crops. Its portfolio of patent applications includes plant science technologies it has in-licensed globally and exclusively from the University of Massachusetts related to the yield trait gene C3003. The first U.S. patent on this trait was issued in 2019. Its portfolio of patent applications also includes advanced technologies for increasing oil content in oilseed crops in-licensed globally and exclusively from the University of Missouri in 2018 and 2019 related to the yield trait genesC3007, C3010 and C3012.
Yield10 filed a patent application in 2019 for our triple edit oil content traits C3008a, C3008b and C3009. We also recently fileda new patent application on a breakthrough technology for producing PHA biomaterials in oilseeds which offers the potential for very low-cost production of a new crop product with applications in water treatment and plastics replacement.
As of December 31, 2019, Yield10 had an accumulated deficit of$364.9 million. With the exception of 2012, it has incurred losses since our inception. It expects to have significant losses and negative cash flow for at least the next several years, as it incurs additional costs and expenses for the continued development of its technology, including the ongoing expenses of research, development, commercialization and administration. The company held unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of $11.1 million at December 31, 2019. Based on cash forecasts, it believes these resources will be sufficient to fund our operations into the second quarter of 2021.
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