Nova Synthetix was formed to further exploit the unique properties of castor using recent developments in biotechnology to create a safe, non-polluting, renewable, non-food feedstock for high-value chemical and biofuels.
There is a $1B existing market for castor oil, and this market is growing (>6% CAGR, 2002-2012). Castor oil commands a price premium over other seed oils. Castor cultivation has migrated to the developing world where oil is exported to make industrial products in the developed world – US cultivation has disappeared. Castor oil availability/price is volatile, “compromising its broader use in the bioeconomy” – Head of Aliphatic Intermediates R&D, Hoechst AG (Frankfurt), GDR)
Nova Synthetix has developed an affordable, rapid, non-GM approach (patent pending) to ricin gene deletion capitalizing upon: a) Castor genomics – ricin target genes identified b) Gene delivery/expression – transient and tissue culture free/”lite” and c) Regulatory regime – non-GM status of targeted mutagenesis.