Israeli startup BetterSeeds is licensing the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology from Corteva Agriscience and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, which earned its developers the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020, to help make growing an easier, more profitable, and safer activity.
“This scientific breakthrough will most likely change the world of medicine and agriculture in the short, medium, and long term. Eight years ago, we realized that agriculture was going to focus on the improvement of plants based on this technology. That's when we decided we would improve staple crops with CRISPR,” stated Ido Margalit, CEO and founder of BetterSeeds.
At the time, food technology was not a focal point for investors as it is today, so the company targeted the cannabis sector, which had many problems that could be solved with CRISPR. The previous incarnation of BetterSeeds - CanBreed - used gene-editing technology to produce stable and consistent hybrid hemp seeds for standardized medical-grade cannabis.