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2001 News


December 2001

LSBC Option to Expand Licence Agreement

Large Scale Biology Corporation Exercises Option to Expand Licensing Agreement in Plant Functional Genomics with Plant Bioscience Limited

VACAVILLE, California, December 4, 2001 – In an exercise of additional licensing options, Large Scale Biology Corporation (Nasdaq:LSBC) and Plant Bioscience Ltd (PBL), Norwich, UK, announced today that LSBC has expanded its field of use to include all higher plants including the commercially relevant monocots for which LSBC already has developed a series of proprietary and exclusive GENEWARE® vectors for cereal crops. Under the terms of the original agreement announced in June of this year, LSBC exclusively licensed certain viral-derived gene silencing and overexpression technologies developed at The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, by Professor David Baulcombe and colleagues. Similarly, LSBC has been licensed exclusively by PBL to employ certain other viral-derived technologies for gene silencing and enhanced gene expression developed at North Carolina State University by Professor Niki Robertson and at the University of South Carolina by Professor Vicki Vance.

“We anticipate many commercial applications for LSBC technology in agricultural markets and expect our expanded alliance with PBL to accelerate our progress in making solid deals,” said Robert L Erwin, Chairman and CEO of LSBC. “Adding the strength of our alliance with PBL to our record of three years in a recently concluded exclusive research collaboration in agricultural genomics, we are now positioned to expand our agricultural base.”  Among its broad genomic technologies, LSBC offers exclusive use of monocot GENEWARE® vectors, gene discoveries for certain dicot crops and rights to collaborative gene discoveries for use in forestry, ornamentals and turfgrass, the genus Nicotiana, and all pharmaceutical applications.

Dr Guy della-Cioppa, LSBC Vice President of Business Development, characterised today’s announcement as “a strong message to agricultural partners about the extent of our plant capabilities.” The expanded field of use under the PBL license, he said, “allows LSBC’s patented GENEWARE® functional genomics technology to include monocots as well as dicots as we introduce gene sequences rapidly into mature plants in just a matter of days, not months. We then study overexpression gain-of-function phenotypes or gene silencing (eg RNAi) loss-of-function phenotypes.”

In Britain, Dr Jan Chojecki, Managing Director of Plant Bioscience Ltd, called the expanded agreement “the ideal combination of two exceptionally strong technology packages resulting in a full platform of state-of-the-science options for all aspects of plant functional genomics and viral-based manufacture of valuable compounds in plants.”

About Large Scale Biology Corporation
Large Scale Biology uses its proteomics, functional genomics and biomanufacturing technologies to develop and manufacture personalized drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for rapid identification and effective treatment of disease. Corporate offices and the Genomics operations are headquartered in Vacaville, California; the Company’s Proteomics operations are located in Germantown, Maryland; and the Company’s bioprocessing and manufacturing facilities are located in Owensboro, Kentucky. For more information about Large Scale Biology Corporation, visit the Company's website at www.lsbc.com

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current plans, expectations, estimates, and projections and management's beliefs about our future performance. Words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” or variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict and which may cause our actual results and performance to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in any such forward-looking statements. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties see the reports filed by Large Scale Biology Corporation with the Securities Exchange Commission. Unless required by law, Large Scale Biology Corporation undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements.

GENEWARE® is a registered trademark of Large Scale Biology Corporation. 

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October 2001

Increasing Resources

PBL is pleased to announce that it has been successful in three separate bids for awards worth a total of nearly £4 million under the UK Government Office of Science and Technology Knowledge Exploitation Funding programme.  The awards will enable PBL to expand its technology transfer and business development activities in plant and microbial sciences.

Expansion of Business Development Activities
This award for £530,000 over 3 years is to PBL in order to expand its own business development activities.  The funds will enable PBL to better exploit its technology portfolio through enhancing its resources to form new start-ups and similar ventures as viable alternatives to PBL's traditionally strong area of licensing.  This increased capacity will also be targeted at some of the many business concepts that are presented to PBL on a regular basis, but which require further development of the business model prior to any initial outside investment.

Capacity Building
A grant of £160,000 over 3 years will be received from OST by PBL's close neighbour on the Norwich Research Park, the Institute of Food Research (IFR).  It will fund the appointment of a technology transfer professional who will be seconded to PBL and whose remit will be to deliver dedicated technology transfer services to the IFR.  Through close interaction between the secondee, IFR staff and experienced PBL staff, many new areas of food technology will be covered, and the existing IFR intellectual property portfolio will be actively managed to take the exciting research being carried out at IFR into commercialisation.

ICENI Fund for New Companies
£3,000,000 is to be made available from the OST's University Challenge Fund to establish the ICENI Fund together with the other partners in an eastern region consortium comprising the University of East AngliaUniversity of EssexJohn Innes CentreThe Sainsbury Laboratory and Institute of Food Research (IFR).  The funds from OST will be matched by £1,000,000 from the partners and associated parties to give a total fund size of £4,000,000.  An experienced team of technology fund managers will invest these funds in developing new technology ventures identified at the partners' institutions, with the aim of establishing new businesses or enhancing licensing opportunities.  The fund can help the commercialisation process in a number of ways: financing access to managerial skills; enhancing existing IP; supporting additional R & D; prototype construction; business plan preparation; covering legal or other professional costs.  The ICENI Fund will become self-financing over the medium term through taking and realising investment stakes in companies and technologies.

Although the ICENI Fund will invest in a range of science based opportunities, bioscience-based entities funded by the ICENI will have the opportunity to establish their operations in the Norwich Bio-Incubator, a purpose built incubator building providing state-of-the-art lab and office space for bioscience businesses.

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August 2001

Granted US Patents for Flowering Gene

Following the recent grant in the US of Patent No. 6265637, PBL now has three granted US patents for the genetic control of flowering time. This new patent covers the LHY (late elongated hypocotyl) gene which is required for the response to photoperiod. This work was carried out by George Coupland and Robert Schaffer at the John Innes Centre, Norwich. It complements two US patents granted to PBL last year involving control of flowering time genes FCA (No. 6140085) and CO (No. 6077994).

PBL is committed to developing its portfolio of flowering genes, which currently consists of applications and granted patents covering ten genes involved in the control of flowering.

For further information on LHY, or any other PBL flowering genes, please contact Jan Chojecki.

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June 2001

New Major Licence Agreement

PBL completes major licence of its viral derived gene-silencing portfolio for plant functional genomics
PBL is pleased to announce that it has recently completed a major licence agreement with Large Scale Biology Corporation (formally called Biosource) a NASDAQ quoted company based in California. Under the agreement LSBC is granted exclusive rights to PBL's extensive portfolio of viral-derived gene-silencing and over-expression technologies for use in plant functional genomics. A significant proportion of the licensed technologies derive from the work of Professor David Baulcombe and colleagues at the Sainsbury Laboratory, but the package also includes complementary technologies licensed to PBL from the University of South Carolina and North Carolina State University. The offer of such a combined package of technologies was an important driver for LSBC to complete the agreement, and is an example of how PBL can add significant further value to technology sourced from the laboratories here in Norwich by packaging it with complementary technologies from other academic institutes.

LSBC is a natural choice of partner for this technology given their complementary strengths in plant viral-expression vectors and track record in using this platform to underpin research and technology alliances with major players in the ag-biotech industry. Under the terms of the licence LSBC has committed to develop the combined platform of technologies and will be seeking to use this to complete new collaborations with industrial customers. The agreement also includes a commitment from LSBC to fund a significant program of research at the Sainsbury Laboratory.

Click here for full press release.

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June 2001

PBL Microbiology Success

PBL is delighted to announce that it has been successful in its application for an award under the DTI's Biotechnology Exploitation Platform (BEP) to establish a new team to provide intellectual property management and technology transfer services to the UK's microbiology research community.

The platform partners with PBL in this "UK MicroBEP" initiative are the John Innes Centre and the Institute of Food Research, Norwich, and PBL has also received interest from ten other UK Universities. The award, which is staged over four years, will provide matching funds for PBL to establish a team of three IP/Tech Transfer experts focussed on emerging microbial sciences.

If you wish to learn more about the UK MicroBEP, or any other services offered by PBL, please contact Jan Chojecki on 01603 456500 or ajsc@pbltechnology.com.

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June 2001

Granted US Patents

With Cf-9 already achieving granted US patent status, PBL shows that it's a serious competitor in the US with a further two granted patents now added to its disease resistance portfolio.

Cf-4 : Granted US patent on tomato Cf-4 (USP 6225527 B) - provides PBL with a useful element of protection for Cf-4-like polypeptides and plants containing them. This patent provides generic cover for Cf-4 sequences from other plants and is not necessarily restricted to tomato sequences per se.

Cf-5 : Granted US patent on tomato Cf-5 (USP 6225532 B1) - also provides PBL with further protection on a disease resistant element.

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April 2001

PBL is Growing

Plant Bioscience Limited is currently experiencing a period of rapid growth … with four new recruits in the last 18 months increasing pressure is being placed on office and meeting room space. In order to alleviate the problem, and to allow us room for future growth, we have taken delivery of a new office building (portacabin). The new building will provide five additional offices and will be ready for occupation in 2-3 weeks.

The new portacabin being swung into place

 

The portacabin is linked to the PBL offices at Hill House

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January 2001

RPW8 genes published in Science

PBL is pleased to report the publication in Science of the cloning of the RPW8 genes by Dr John Turner and colleagues at the University of East Anglia. The Arabidopsis thaliana locus RESISTANCE TO POWDERY MILDEW8 (RPW8) contains two naturally polymorphic, dominant R genes, RPW8.1 and RPW8.2, which individually control resistance to a broad range of powdery mildew pathogens. Although the predicted RPW8.1 and RPW8.2 proteins are different from the previously characterised R proteins, they induce localized, salicylic acid-dependent defenses similar to those induced by R genes that control specific resistance. The RPW8 genes will have utility in engineering broad spectrum powdery mildew resistance in crop plants. For further information about commercial opportunities please contact Jan Chojecki at PBL.

Science Reference:
BROAD-SPECTRUM MILDEW RESISTANCE IN ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA MEDIATED BY RPW8. Shunyuan Xiao et al, Science Volume 291, Number 5501, Issue of 5 Jan 2001, pp. 118-120.

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