As FDA considers Cutting Nicotine in Cigarettes, Demeetra AgBio Announces It Can Produce Harm-Reduced Tobacco Products Through Gene Editing

Precision gene editing in tobacco is being applied to harm-reduced nicotine product manufacturing

LEXINGTON, Ky., June 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Amid the FDA’s confirmation it is considering a global reduction on nicotine in cigarettes to non- addictive levels, Demeetra AgBio, Inc., a pre-clinical therapeutics development, agbio, and genetic engineering company, announced today that its proprietary gene editing platform, Cas-CLOVER™ can be used to produce harm-reduced tobacco products and therapeutic cannabinoids in a feature with CRISPR Medicine News.

Cas-CLOVER targeted tobacco shoots with knockout mutations for the phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene which results in a visually pale and white phenotype.

“We are just scratching the surface on what our gene editing platforms can unlock”, said Jack Crawford, CEO

The policy the FDA is considering would likely involve a stepwise reduction in nicotine levels in cigarettes until they reach non-addictive levels. Notably, Nobel Prize-winning gene editing platform CRISPR/Cas9 cannot be licensed to create tobacco products for human consumption. In contrast, Demeetra offers commercial freedom to use its proprietary Cas-CLOVER platform in agriculture and bioprocessing where it can be deployed in the tobacco and cannabis industries.

“We are just scratching the surface on what our gene editing platforms can unlock”, said Jack Crawford, Chief Executive Officer

Article Highlights:

What is Cas-CLOVER? Cas-CLOVER, “the clean alternative to CRISPR/Cas9” is the cornerstone of Demeetra’s gene editing technology platforms. Using Cas-CLOVER enhances target specificity and results in far fewer unwanted off-target mutations.

“Demeetra has exclusive rights to Cas-CLOVER in the fields of bioprocessing and agriculture, with internationally issued IP”, said Mr. Crawford. “It is very simple for us and our partners – one license provides commercial FTO. We can also provide exclusivity on a crop or target basis,” he added.

The FDA and public health stakeholders have recently signaled their willingness to take drastic measures to counter the health effects of tobacco combustibles, announcing an outright ban on menthol-flavored cigarettes (which make up 30% of the market).  Demeetra’s gene editing technology can resolve several key problems, including reducing carcinogens and offering a biological process for the stepwise reduction of nicotine in cigarettes.

Demeetra AgBio is open for licensing and services to modify any tobacco strain, variety, or other crop with its precise gene editing technology. Please contact Demeetra’s business development group for more information, The Workdom Team 


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