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Origin Agritech Updates GMO Corn Seed Research and Commercialization Strategies

Origin Agritech Updates GMO Corn Seed Research and Commercialization Strategies

BEIJING, Feb. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Origin Agritech Ltd. (NASDAQ: SEED) (the "Company" or "Origin"), an agriculture technology and rural e-commerce company, today updates the progress of biotech research programs and strategies for the commercialization of GMO corn seeds and traits.  

As the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MOA) has recently issued two more biosafety certificates for biotechnology corn traits, we believe it is now more widely expected that the Chinese authorities will approve the planting and commercialization of biotech corn seed in China. As the leading corn seed biotechnology developer, Origin has been preparing for the commercialization of its technology for many years and has a rich pipeline to meet the potential demand for corn seed biotechnologies.

Glyphosate(G2) tolerance and insect resistance (Bt) corn: With the cooperation program between Origin and China Academy of Agriculture Science (CAAS), Origin has developed a double stacked insect resistance and glyphosate tolerance corn with a proprietary new Cry1Ah Bt gene for insect resistance and a proprietary new G2 gene for glyphosate tolerance. This double-stacked trait has completed several years of production test and is now in the final phase of biosafety certificate review from Chinese MOA. This double stacked trait has also been integrated into the Company's elite corn hybrids.

Origin has commercial cooperation programs with several multinational and local seed producers, including DuPont Pioneer and KWS. These programs are progressing very well, and the related technical work, including integration of Origin's traits into their corn hybrids, mostly has been completed.

Furthermore, the next generation of insect resistance traits involving new Bt genes has been evaluated. New double-stacked and triple-stacked traits have been under intermediate testing. These traits are expected to expand the insecticidal spectrum and durability.

Phytase: The Company's phytase trait is the first biotechnology corn trait receiving the biosafety certificate from the MOA in 2009. Four commercial hybrids with phytase traits have completed a number of variety production tests. These varieties with phytase traits have been submitted to the Chinese MOA to obtain variety safety certificates.

Origin continues to work with CAAS in developing next generation GMO genes to expand its GMO trait pipeline. Origin also works closely with CAAS for the biosafety certificate applications and commercialization of GMO corn seeds in China. 

As announced previously, the Company is working with Beijing Changping Technology Innodevelop Group (BC-TID) to establish a joint venture to focus on the commercialization of genetically modified (GM) corn seed technologies. At this point, BC-TID has deposited RMB15 million (US$2.1 million) in an escrow account and the Company is completing the final steps of preparatory work so that BC-TID can inject the first tranche of cash investment as soon as possible.

In summary, the issuance of the biosafety certificate for two corn seed traits last month is a strong indication that the Chinese MOA is moving towards approving the commercialization and planting of GM corn seeds in China. The Company's double-stacked corn traits of glyphosate tolerance and insect resistance is now in the final phase of biosafety certificate review by the Chinese MOA. Further cooperation with CAAS and the funding from BC-TID through the joint venture could provide the Company strong technical and financial support. Origin is prepared to take advantage of the opportunities in the field of agriculture biotechnology.

About Origin Agritech Limited

Origin Agritech Limited, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Zhong-Guan-Cun (ZGC) Life Science Park in Beijing, is China's leading agricultural technology and a rural social e-commerce company, expanding in mid-2018 from crop seed breeding and genetic improvement business to be a leading technology developer in new rural e-commerce platform and Blockchain technologies. 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: or

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 which 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, or 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 you that such expectations will turn out to be correct, and 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 and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements.

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