UK-based Rothamsted Research signed a collaboration agreement with Yield10 Bioscience, Inc., an agricultural bioscience company, to support Rothamsted’s flagship program to develop omega-3 oils in Camelina sativa. The technology developed by Rothamsted could enable the sustainable, plant-based production of omega-3 (DHA+EPA) oils that closely mimic the composition of southern hemisphere fish oil.
Rothamsted Research is a world-leading nonprofit research center based in Harpenden, UK that focuses on strategic agricultural science to the benefit of farmers and society worldwide. Over the last decade, the team led by Professor Johnathan Napier has demonstrated the production of DHA+EPA oils in camelina seed. In addition, Napier’s team has carried out multi-year field trials and multiple feeding studies using the DHA+EPA camelina oil in different fish species including salmon. Under the agreement, Yield10 will provide support to Napier’s ongoing research including further DHA+EPA trait improvement, field testing and nutritional studies. As part of the agreement, Yield10 has an exclusive two-year option to sign a global, exclusive or non-exclusive license agreement to the omega-3 technology.
“Yield10 shares our vision for developing camelina as a commercial crop for omega-3 oils based on a land-based route to production,” said Professor Angela Karp, Rothamsted director and chief executive officer. “Successful commercialization of this technology could have significant benefits, offering sustainable production of an oil essential for nutrition and wellness to consumers, as well as providing crop diversification to growers. Yield10 has described numerous innovations for improving the performance of camelina and has demonstrated commitment and leadership in the development of camelina as a new commercial crop. We look forward to advancing our mission of improving sustainable agriculture working with the Yield10 team.”
“Yield10 is developing camelina as a platform crop for the production of nutritional oils and PHA biomaterials and we believe there is a significant market opportunity for omega-3 oils produced in camelina,” said Oliver Peoples, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Yield10 Bioscience. “Under this collaboration, we will have the opportunity to further assess the omega-3 oil technology and ongoing progress by Rothamsted while Yield10 continues to focus on developing elite varieties of camelina and establishing a strategic business plan to identify opportunities for commercial development for this high-value oil.”