GM salmon: AquaBounty posts $2m loss in first half, remains confident of getting FDA approval later this year

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

AquaBounty CEO: 'We are hopeful that the strength of law, due process and science-based regulation will prevail, and approval will be granted'
AquaBounty CEO: 'We are hopeful that the strength of law, due process and science-based regulation will prevail, and approval will be granted'
AquaBounty Technologies - which is hoping to become the first company to introduce a genetically engineered (GE) animal to the human food supply - has posted a net loss of $2.05m for the six months to June 30, 2013 - down from $2.4m in the same period last year.

The AquAdvantage salmon contains a growth hormone gene from the faster-growing Chinook salmon; which is effectively ‘turned on’ all year round instead of only during the warmer months, which halves the time it takes to reach maturity.     

The firm, which has been stuck in regulatory limbo for years as the FDA mulls over its technology, remains confident that its AquAdvantage genetically engineered salmon will gain approval "later this year"​, said CEO Dr Ronald Stotish.

There hasn't been a single new substantive scientific or legal argument presented to the FDA against our application since Sept 2010

He added: “We remain confident of receiving approval for our New Animal Drug Application for AquAdvantage Salmon.  The basis of our confidence is that, since the public meetings in September 2010, there hasn't been a single new substantive scientific or legal argument presented to the FDA against our application. 

“This makes us hopeful that the strength of law, due process and science-based regulation will prevail, and approval will be granted."

Firm raised $6m in March

Earlier this year, AquaBounty raised $6m via an equity placing to certain shareholders.  The proceeds would provide the firm with enough cash to continue operating through mid-2014, said Dr Stotish.

“The company's cash resources, though adequate for present purposes, will need to be supplemented once FDA approval has been granted in order to commence the commercialization phase. The Board remains confident that the market potential for AquAdvantage Salmon and AquaBounty's other biotechnology-based solutions would be substantial.”

Click here​ to watch our video interview on GM animals with Dr Alison Van Eenennaam at the IFT show in July.

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