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Press Release Details

Intrexon and AquaBounty Receive Regulatory Exemption in Development of Gene Edited Tilapia for More Sustainable Production

December 18, 2018 at 7:30 AM EST
Assessment by Argentina's National Advisory Commission on Agricultural Biotechnology Sets Regulatory Precedent

GERMANTOWN, Md. and MAYNARD, Mass., Dec. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Intrexon Corporation (NASDAQ: XON), a leader in the engineering and industrialization of biology to improve the quality of life and health of the planet, and AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AQB), a biotechnology company focused on enhancing productivity in the aquaculture market and a majority-owned subsidiary of Intrexon, announced that their jointly developed gene edited line of tilapia, FLT 01, is exempt from GM regulation according to Argentina'sNational Advisory Commission on Agricultural Biotechnology (CONABIA). This line of tilapia enables more sustainable production through improvements in fillet yield, growth and feed conversion efficiency, enabling the tilapia to grow to market weight in less time, while also consuming less feed than conventional varieties.

Intrexon Corporation logo. (PRNewsFoto/Intrexon Corporation) (PRNewsfoto/Intrexon Corporation)

The engineered tilapia were developed using gene editing techniques and do not contain any foreign DNA or a new combination of genetic material that would warrant their regulation as genetically modified in Argentina. FLT 01 is believed to be one of the first gene edited food animals to receive a regulatory exemption due to its designation as a non-GMO. As the companies look to move this product toward commercialization, standard food and environmental safety considerations will still apply to this product prior to introduction.

"We are focused on developing animal biotechnology for aquaculture and livestock through our subsidiaries to support sustainable food production in the U.S. and abroad," said LTG (Ret.) Thomas Bostick, PhD, PE, Chief Operating Officer of Intrexon. "We are pleased with Argentina's leadership in establishing a transparent and predictable process for the advancement of products developed with gene editing techniques and see this as a critical development for companies seeking to bring highly innovative solutions to the global market using powerful and highly precise genetic tools. Moreover, enhancing regulatory certainty for products derived from biotechnology is critical to the future of agricultural innovation."

Tilapia is the fourth most consumed seafood after shrimp, salmon and canned tuna and is forecasted to be one of the highest growth production segments in aquaculture. The jointly developed tilapia demonstrates a significant improvement in fillet yield of 70%, a growth rate improvement of 16% as well as a feed conversion rate improvement of 14%, offering promise to producers to shorten the time to harvest. A shortened production cycle can reduce input costs, increase production outputs and reduce risk of disease. Defining sustainable solutions such as this tilapia will be critical to providing nutritious products to a growing population.

"AquaBounty is committed to advancing novel technologies into the marketplace to improve sustainability in aquaculture and through our productive collaboration with Intrexon have been able to make significant progress toward this goal," said Ronald Stotish, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of AquaBounty. "We look forward to continuing our work with the Intrexon team and realizing the potential of biological engineering approaches to enhancing aquaculture productivity."  

About Intrexon Corporation
Intrexon Corporation (NASDAQ: XON) is Powering the Bioindustrial Revolution with Better DNA to create biologically-based products that improve the quality of life and the health of the planet.  Intrexon's integrated technology suite provides its partners across diverse markets with industrial-scale design and development of complex biological systems delivering unprecedented control, quality, function, and performance of living cells.  We call our synthetic biology approach Better DNA®, and we invite you to discover more at or follow us on Twitter at @Intrexon, on Facebook, and LinkedIn.

About AquaBounty
AquaBounty is a small company with offices in Maynard, Massachusetts and Fortune, Prince Edward Island. Founded in 1991, AquaBounty's driving force is the belief that modern genetics, married with technological advances in aquaculture production, can spur a radically more responsible and sustainable way of farming Atlantic salmon. Breakthroughs in modern bioscience have revitalized aquaculture and AquaBounty is at the forefront of this Blue Revolution.

Intrexon, Powering the Bioindustrial Revolution with Better DNA, and Better DNA are trademarks of Intrexon and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor Statement
Some of the statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are based upon our current expectations and projections about future events and generally relate to our plans, objectives and expectations for the development of our business.  Although management believes that the plans and objectives reflected in or suggested by these forward-looking statements are reasonable, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and actual future results may be materially different from the plans, objectives and expectations expressed in this press release.

For more information, contact:

Intrexon Investor Contact:

Steven Harasym

Vice President, Investor Relations

Tel: +1 (214) 721-0607 

Intrexon Corporate Contact:

Marie Rossi, PhD

Vice President, Communications

Tel: +1 (301) 556-9850 


AquaBounty Contact:

Dave Conley

Director of Communications
Tel: +1 (613) 294-3078

AquaBounty Logo

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SOURCE Intrexon Corporation; AquaBounty Technologies, Inc.