Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

ArborGen faces faster route to commercialisation in US

ArborGen faces faster route to commercialisation in streamlined US approval process

By Paul McBeth

March 16 (BusinessDesk) – Forestry biotech company ArborGen, which counts NZX-listed Rubicon as a major shareholder, may be on a quicker route to taking one of its products to market after US officials trimmed the timeline in the approval process of biotechnology products.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has outlined new processes to determine whether biotech products should be approved for commercial use, cutting the time to 13 to 16 months from an average three years per petition previously.

That means ArborGen could get its cold-tolerant eucalyptus product to market sooner than previously expected, provided it secures all the appropriate approvals.

“These process improvements announced by APHIS represent a significant improvement to the regulatory approval process previously in place, and these changes will be welcomed by the wider biotechnology community,” chief executive Andrew Baum, who was only appointed to lead the company this week, said in a statement. “The new process should achieve faster petition determinations without foregoing any of the rigour of APHIS’s environment assessment process.”

ArborGen wants to bring genetically-modified eucalyptus trees to market to enable production of the hardwood for pulp and biofuel in managed plantations in the south-eastern United States. The company has been selling varietal pine seedlings since 2006.



An early approval would be a fillip to the forestry biotech company, which was forced to shelve plans for an initial public offering last year as US financial markets struggled to revive in the wake of the global financial crisis, several years ago.

ArborGen’s shareholders Rubicon, International Paper and MeadWestvaco will have to source new funding to pursue a float, and may need to stump up more cash, tap private capital or seek new bank finance.

Shares in Rubicon climbed 5.4 percent to 39 cents in trading today.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Electricity Market: Power Panel Favours Scrapping Low-Fixed Charges

An independent panel reviewing electricity prices favours scrapping the government’s low-user fixed charge regime, banning the use of prompt-payment discounts, and requiring greater disclosure of the profit split between the retail and generation arms of the major power companies. More>>

ALSO:

Bottomless Oil And Zero Climate Cost: Greenpeace Not Big On PEPANZ Gas Ban Report

The NZIER report commissioned by oil industry body, PEPANZ, claims the oil and gas ban issued by the Government last April could cost the the New Zealand economy $28 billion by 2050... But Greenpeace says the figures in the report are based on false assumptions and alternative facts. More>>

ALSO:

Two Queensland Fruit Flies And A Different One In Otara: Devonport Fruit And Veg Lockdown

Work continues at pace on the biosecurity response following the discovery last week of one male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Devonport. More>>

ALSO:

Digital Services Tax: Government To Plan Tax On Web Operator Income

New Zealand is to consult on the design of changes to tax rules which currently allow multinational companies in the digital services field to do business here without paying income tax. More>>

ALSO: