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[SANET-MG] another pharm crop company faces set back
Columbia Daily Tribune
Ventria cancels move to Northwest Missouri
Published Saturday, December 31, 2005
KANSAS CITY (AP) - A California-based company specializing in plant-made
pharmaceuticals announced yesterday that it won’t be coming to Northwest
Missouri State University.
Ventria Bioscience had planned to remove proteins from genetically
modified rice at a facility under construction at the university. The
proteins could be refined for use in medicines to fight diarrhea,
dehydration and other illnesses.
The company, based in Sacramento, Calif., was to anchor the Missouri
Center of Excellence for Plant Biologics on the university’s campus in
Maryville. The school planned the center with the hope that it would
stimulate the rural economy and provide students with opportunities in
But the university’s president, Dean Hubbard, said demand for Ventria’s
product had increased much faster than anticipated. Within the next two
years, the company would need 10 times more capacity than could be
provided at the protein extraction facility under construction, Hubbard
said. The school and Ventria had planned to build a larger extraction
facility in a second phase of construction, but money for that project
couldn’t be raised quickly enough.
"We were struggling because they needed to do extraction much faster
than we had originally expected, and we simply couldn’t meet those
deadlines in terms of construction and funding," he said.
Hubbard said that Ventria’s withdrawal does not signal an end to the
Center for Excellence.
"We developed a concept before we knew Ventria existed," he said. "That
concept is as viable today as it was then. What we simply will do is go
to one of the other companies we’ve had discussions with and find
another anchor client that can fit into what we do."
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