17 September 1998
Zeneca in £50m GM wheat venture

BIOTECH giant Zeneca is to invest £50 million over the next 10 years to develop new wheat varieties through genetic engineering.

Zeneca will build a new laboratory on the Norwich campus of the John Innes Centre, where 30 of its scientists will work.

The ventures first objective would be to develop herbicide-resistant and disease-resistant strains of wheat.

Zeneca scientists hope to change the starch content of wheat to make it more suitable for particular food and industrial applications. They also intend to produce varieties that could grow in conditions too hot, cold, dry or salty for wheat today.

Zenecas announcement follows a similar announcement from Du Pont, which is also collaborating with the John Innes Centre.

  • Financial Times 17/09/98 page 35