WA Biotech Company Wins Major Government Grant

20 December 2012

Western Australia’s only agricultural biotechnology company, Nemgenix Pty Ltd, has been awarded a $207,000 grant under the Australian Government’s Commercialisation Australia funding programme.

Commercialisation Australia is a competitive, merit-based assistance programme offering funding and resources to Australian entrepreneurs and businesses looking to commercialise their innovation and technology.

The funding will enable Nemgenix to demonstrate that its patented gene technology has application in soybean plants. The genetic trait which has been developed by the company will be used to generate transgenic soybean plants with resistance to plant parasitic nematodes. These are devastating root pathogens which significantly reduce yields in soybean and many of the world’s other major crops.

The Director of the WA State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre and Chief Scientific Officer of Nemgenix, Professor Michael Jones, said:

“Plant parasitic nematodes are arguably the most important pest of the soybean crop with few controls available. The funding will enable us to demonstrate that the technology developed here in Australia has global application and will ultimately offer farmers further options for managing this devastating pest”.

Nemgenix’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Sean Hird, said:

“We won this award against stiff competition and it is a massive vote of confidence in our abilities. It recognises both the importance of gene technology for the future of agriculture and the skills and resources we have here in Western Australia. This funding will enable us to compete internationally in this area of high technology”.

Doron Ben-Meir, CEO of Commercialisation Australia said:

"Access to adequate funding is critical. However, access to the right skills, insights and networks is equally, if not more, important. By providing timely funding and access to a diverse range of skills and experience, Commercialisation Australia will enhance participants' prospects of commercial success and enrich Australia's commercialisation ecosystem."

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For more information contact:

Corporate - Dr Sean Hird, CEO: sean.hird@nemgenix.com
Scientific - Prof Mike Jones, CSO: m.jones@murdoch.edu.au Mob, (+61) 0414 239 428