Hexima Confirms First Transgenic Corn Plants

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1st March 2010, 01:25pm - Views: 1053

Hexima Confirms First Transgenic Corn Plants Under Pioneer Collaboration

March 1, 2010: Hexima Limited (ASX: HXL), has produced its first transgenic corn plants containing genes expressing anti-fungal proteins (AFPs), the Company announced today.

Hexima has produced corn plants containing several different AFP genes. The Company is developing fungal resistant corn in collaboration with DuPont business, Pioneer Hi-Bred. This announcement follows confirmation by Pioneer in November 2009 that Hexima had met all technical milestones in the first year of the collaboration.

"Expressing AFPs in corn is an important technical achievement in itself, but it also signals the commencement of a new phase of the collaboration, glasshouse testing," said Professor Marilyn Anderson, Chief Science Officer for Hexima.

"Pioneer has recognised our achievements over the first year of the fungal disease program, and producing our first transgenic corn plants underlines our progress in developing a broad-spectrum disease control option for growers," Professor Anderson said.

Fungal diseases cause significant yield and economic loss in the key corn growing regions, particularly the $50B (USD) US market, where it is estimated that 10-12% of yield is lost each year.

Hexima will continue AFP identification, optimisation and construct development during the glasshouse testing phase. Hexima recently announced the completion of its corn transformation facility, which will allow increased throughput for the transgenic corn program. These initial transgenic plants will be the first of up to 10,000 plants expected to be taken through the glasshouse and bioassays during 2010.

For more information, please contact:

Justine Heath
Chief Operating Officer
Hexima Limited
Telephone +61 3 8629 2999

Joshua Hofheimer
Chief Executive Officer
Hexima Limited
Telephone +61 3 8629 2999

About Hexima

Hexima Limited (ASX Code: HXL) is an agribusiness company developing innovative gene technologies to help farmers enhance the productivity of arable land by improving yields and reducing the use of chemicals. Hexima's core technologies aim to strengthen commercial crops by enhancing their resistance to insect pests and fungal disease. Hexima partners with multinational seed companies to establish commercial markets for its technologies.

Visit www.hexima.com.au for more information.

SOURCE: Hexima Limited

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