Biotech Startup PlantArcBio Completes a $3M Funding Round and Signs a Collaboration Agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Madison

PlantArcBio Ltd., a leading biotechnology startup for the improvement of
crop yield, recently completed a funding round that raised $3 million
from private investors and Israel Innovation Authority grants.
PlantArcBio signed an agreement with the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, under which genes that improve drought tolerance will
be tested by the university’s scientists in soybean greenhouses and
fields in the United States. The genes were discovered by the company
using its patented platform.

The newly discovered genes have shown excellent results in model plants
in greenhouses, improving their drought tolerance by tens of
percentages. Trait development in plants, like drug development,
includes three experiment stages: experiments in model plants (plants
that are relatively easy to grow and have short life cycles);
experiments in a target plant (corn, soybeans, etc.); and extensive
field trials in the target plant. After successfully completing the
first stage, PlantArcBio has moved on to the second stage. Based on the
results of the soybean trials, PlantArcBio will be able to accelerate
the commercialization of the genes, which will be sold to seed companies
for use in soybean, corn, canola and other crops worldwide.

Climate change in general, and drought specifically, is one of the major
causes of crop yield reduction worldwide. A UW-Madison study estimated
that U.S. soybean farmers alone have lost $11 billion over the past 20
years due to changes in weather patterns. After averaging nationwide
data, researchers found that U.S. soybean yields fell by around 2.4
percent for every one-degree rise in temperature.

Activities associated with the soybean transformation and testing will
be led by UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center (WCIC), which
includes a state-of-the-art biotech plant laboratory and highly advanced
greenhouses.

Michael Petersen, Associate Director, WCIC, says: “We’re excited
to collaborate with PlantArcBio. Working together to improve soybean
drought tolerance could lead to major breakthroughs in the agricultural
realm that would also benefit farmers in the U.S.”

Dr. Dror Shalitin, Founder and CEO, PlantArcBio, says: “As we
move on to the next stage of testing our promising genes, we’re very
pleased to be joining forces with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
This project brings together world-class academic researchers in
agricultural science with one of the industry’s most innovative gene
discovery companies. Connecting with the University of Wisconsin’s
considerable capabilities in plant transformation, as well as soybean
cultivation and testing, will enable us to strengthen our results and
move closer to a product that will help farmers and improve global food
security.”

About PlantArcBio

PlantArcBio Ltd.is a leading biotechnology company for the improvement
of crop productivity and performance for global food security. The
Company developed and proved a unique, highly innovative Direct In Plant
(DIP™) gene discovery platform. The company works to improve seed traits
for both conventional and biotech applications. PlantArcBio focuses on
four key market segments: yield and abiotic stresses (environmental
stresses); insect resistance; herbicide tolerance; and disease control.

For more information, please visit www.PlantArcBio.com
or write to info@PlantArcBio.com

For more information about WCIC, please visit https://cropinnovation.cals.wisc.edu

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