Origin Agritech Announces Revolutionary Gene Editing Breakthrough, Featured in Top Science Journal Nature

BEIJINGJune 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Origin Agritech Ltd. (NASDAQ: SEED) (the “Company” or “Origin”), a leading Chinese agricultural technology company,

today announced the publication of a groundbreaking research article in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, titled “Maize Smart Canopy Architecture Enhances Yield at High Densities.” This study is the first to successfully achieve fixed-point improvement of leaf angle in maize inbred lines using maize induction line gene editing technology.

The article can be found by visiting https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-024-07669-6.

Origin, through its subsidiary Hainan Aoyu Biotech Limited, cooperated with China Agricultural University and pioneered establishing the world’s first efficient genetic transformation system for maize induction line Hi3. This innovative system enables the rapid editing of major maize inbred lines across various genetic backgrounds. By breaking the technical barrier of improving maize inbred lines through gene editing, this method allows for precise enhancements to the shape of maize inbred lines within a single year. Compared with traditional backcrossing and breeding techniques, Hi3 can save 3-4 years of time without the influence of linked genes.

China is accelerating the commercialization of gene editing traits and has approved gene editing biosafety certificates for corn, soybeans, and wheat. The commercialization of Origin’s gene-editing corn is expected to begin in 1-2 years. The use of this gene editing technology has broad application space and huge commercial development value. According to Bill Deng, Origin’s head of research, it is estimated that the market for the commercial breeding process of corn gene editing can reach more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion).

Dr. Gengchen Han, Chairman and CEO of Origin Agritech, stated, “Our collaboration with China Agricultural University and the publication of our research in Nature underscore Origin’s commitment to advancing agricultural technology. This breakthrough can potentially revolutionize maize cultivation by significantly boosting yield through improved plant architecture.”

The induction line genetic transformation system developed by Origin offers broad application prospects for the commercial development of gene-edited corn. This technology is poised to play a critical role in future agricultural innovations, providing a powerful tool for enhancing crop performance and sustainability.

“At present, we have obtained more than ten maize gene editing induction lines that have been improved for different traits, including reducing the angle between the upper leaves of maize ears, enhancing maize drought resistance, enhancing maize lodging resistance, extending maize growth period, and stacking multiple composite traits,” continued Dr. Han. “In the future, we can quickly carry out targeted improvement work for related target traits. More notably, our genetically modified hybrid will enter production trials this year.”

“We are excited about the potential applications of this technology in commercial agriculture. By leveraging our genetic transformation system, we can accelerate the development of high-yield maize varieties, contributing to global food security and advancing sustainable farming practices,” concluded Dr. Han.

About Origin Agritech Limited

Origin Agritech Limited, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Zhong-Guan-Cun (ZGC) Life Science Park in Beijing, is a leading Chinese agricultural technology company. In crop seed biotechnologies, Origin Agritech’s phytase corn was the first transgenic corn to receive the Bio-Safety Certificate from China’s Ministry of Agriculture. Over the years, Origin has established a robust biotechnology seed pipeline, including products with glyphosate tolerance and pest resistance (Bt) traits. For further information, please visit the Company’s website at www.originagritech.com. The Company also maintains a Twitter account for updating investors on Company and industry developments which is https://x.com/origin_agritech.

Forward-Looking Statements

This communication contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the federal securities laws, including Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements address expected future business and financial performance and financial condition and contain words like “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “will,” “would,” “target,” and similar expressions and variations. Forward-looking statements address matters that are uncertain. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are based on assumptions and expectations that may not be realized. They are based on management’s current expectations, assumptions, estimates, and projections about the Company and the industry in which the Company operates but involve a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control. Some of the important factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those discussed in forward-looking statements are: failure to develop and market new products and optimally manage product life cycles; ability to respond to market acceptance, rules, regulations and policies affecting our products; failure to appropriately manage process safety and product stewardship issues; changes in laws and regulations or political conditions; global economic and capital markets conditions, such as inflation, interest and currency exchange rates; business or supply disruptions; natural disasters and weather events and patterns; ability to protect and enforce the Company’s intellectual property rights; and separation of underperforming or non-strategic assets or businesses. The Company undertakes no duty or obligation to publicly revise or update any forward-looking statements as a result of future developments, new information, or otherwise, should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws. Although the Company believes that the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot assure that such expectations will be correct. Actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results. You are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements contained herein. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements.

For more information, please contact:

Origin Agritech Limited Contact:
Kate Lang (Mandarin/English)
Director of Investor Relations
Phone: +86 186-1839-3368
Email: bing.lang@originseed.com.cn

Investor Relations Contact:
Matthew Abenante, IRC
Strategic Investor Relations, LLC
Tel: 347-947-2093
Email: matthew@strategic-ir.com

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