Following the success of its gene edited (GE) canola, US biotech firm Cibus has secured US$70M in funding for further commercialisation and R&D for new GE crops.

Among the investors were Fidelity Management and Research Co, Alexandria Venture Investments, Cormorant Asset Management and other unnamed investors, Xconomy wrote on 27 June.

The SU canola, Cibus’ first commercial product, was tolerant to sulfonylurea herbicides, a trait that was developed through the company’s proprietary Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS), which could edit plant genes without the introduction of foreign DNA.

According to Cibus, the changes introduced through RTDS were predictable and identical to those that could occur naturally over time.

The firm did not give details of SU canola’s sales, but said it had experienced triple digit growth in the past two years and that its inventory was now sold out, wrote Xconomy.

In addition to supporting further commercialisation of the GE canola, the new investments would also enable further R&D of other crops, such as the herbicide tolerant flax that Cibus planned to launch in the USA in the next year.

Also in the pipeline were a herbicide-tolerant rice and a potato variety that could resist the Phytophthora fungal disease, which caused the Great Famine of Ireland in the mid-1800s.

In 2017, Cibus secured US$57M in funding ahead of SU canola’s launch in Canada.