May 13, 2002
Corporation (AMEX: BVA) announced today that it has begun
closing down its research and development operations, carried
out primarily through its wholly owned subsidiary DNA Plant
Technology Corporation (DNAP).
The focus of DNAP's research has
been the production of transgenic plants which provide improved
disease resistance for fruit and vegetable crops. Concerns about
public acceptance of transgenic products in these markets have
made producers reluctant to invest in the development of
transgenic fruits and vegetables.
Further, the agricultural
industry has been suffering with reduced prices in the past few
years, leading growers, food companies and other providers to
delay new R&D investment. Despite an intensive search, these
factors have made it difficult for the company to develop new
customers. With this absence of a customer base, DNAP has not
been able to obtain venture capital or other financing
sufficient to continue R&D operations.
Accordingly, research and
development operations are being terminated, and over the next
two months, DNAP's Oakland R&D facility will be closed down and
nearly all personnel will be laid off. DNAP will shift its focus
to the licensing or sale of its intellectual property. It is
anticipated that the shut-down of R&D operations will be
complete by June 30, 2002.
Bionova Holding and its affiliates have strategic alliances
and licensing agreements with some of the world's leading
agricultural companies, value-added producers and marketers, and
biotechnology research groups. Through its fresh produce growers
and distribution companies, Bionova Holding is known for its
premium Master's Touch(R) and FreshWorld Farms(R) brands.
Bionova Holding Corporation is majority owned by Mexico's Savia,
S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: VAI), whose subsidiaries include Seminis
Vegetables Seeds, Inc., the largest developer, producer and
marketer of vegetable seeds in the world.
|Company news release
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