NOMAD BIOSCIENCE GmbH, Munich, Germany (“NOMAD”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a research and development agreement with CENTRO TECNOLOGICO NACIONAL AGROALIMENTARIO EXTREMADURA (“CTAEX”), Badajoz, Spain.
In accordance with the Agreement, CTAEX is expected to conduct in 2021 first open field trials with NOMAD plant hosts expressing Thaumatin II, a natural high-intensity non-caloric sweetener of plant origin. The plant biomass will then be transported to a processing facility to purify quantities of Thaumatin II intended for NOMAD’s first consumer market studies in USA.
Thaumatin II has received GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status in USA (FDA GRN 738 and GRN 910) and it thus can be used there commercially as a non-caloric sweetener. NOMAD is aggressively developing regulatory submissions to get Thaumatin II registered in other countries including European Union states.
“We highly appreciate the opportunity to work with CTAEX, a world class organization that conducted field trials and agronomy research and development for all major internationals as well as many small agrobusinesses in Spain. Thaumatin II is a highly promising product with an existing market and huge unmet demands, therefore establishing agronomic conditions for growing Thaumatin-producing crops in Extremadura would allow local farmers to participate in this potentially highly profitable business.”, said Prof. Dr. Yuri Gleba, CEO of NOMAD.
If the project with CTAEX is successful, NOMAD intends to negotiate with CTAEX an agreement to provide industrial amounts of Thaumatin II-containing plant biomass in 2022-24, and later, to help transfer the established cultivation technology to plant growers in Extremadura, Spain, for large-scale contract production.
In addition, NOMAD has also signed an Agreement with the Institute of Plant Cell and Molecular Biology (IBMCP), Valencia, Spain, a unit of Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) aimed to support NOMAD’s ongoing technical, regulatory and development efforts in Spain.
“NOMAD´s decision to bring its Thaumatin II -producing plants to field trials in Spain is excellent news. They represent not only a remarkable example of cutting-edge biotechnology applied to crops, but also a very promising product that could help to revitalize the agricultural sector in Spain”, said Dr. Orzaez, head of the Crop Biotech Dept at IBMCP. “NOMAD’s expansion plans align with our ongoing efforts in the frame of several EU-funded research projects, which aim to improve plants as biofactories, making them a new driving force in the EU bioeconomy”