GreenLight Biosciences opens RNA production facility
GreenLight Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on RNA research, design, and manufacturing for human, animal, and plant health, today announced the opening of its manufacturing plant in Rochester. The 17,000-square-foot facility will manufacture enzymes and RNA for a variety of agricultural applications, including the protection of honeybees.
While the fast rollout of mRNA vaccines helped change the course of the pandemic, RNA also has numerous potential applications in plant and animal health.
To date, however, the cost and scale of RNA production has constrained the development of its use in agriculture.
“GreenLight has developed a new way to produce commercial quantities of RNA at low cost for multiple applications,” said chief operating officer Carole Cobb. “GreenLight’s research know-how and production process allows us to address some of the challenges that formerly hindered RNA’s application in agriculture.”
Sustainable alternatives to chemical-based pesticides are needed to protect biodiversity, including beneficial insects and pollinators. GreenLight’s agricultural solutions are designed to protect biodiversity through their specificity in targeting pests like the Varroa destructor mite, which contributes to the collapse of beehives, and the Colorado potato beetle, which destroys potatoes.
“Rochester has a proud history of being on the cutting edge of technological innovation, and GreenLight Biosciences continues that legacy,” said Rep. Joe Morelle (D–N.Y.). “This new production facility will be critical to advancing RNA applications and strengthening our agricultural economy. I am excited to welcome GreenLight Biosciences into Eastman Business Park and look forward to their continued growth and success.”
Located within the 1,200-acre Eastman Business Park, the Rochester manufacturing facility has an installed capacity at 500 kg per year, with ready expansion to 1,000 kg. The site and utility infrastructure supports a further expansion of RNA production up to 100 metric tons per year.
Founded in 2008, GreenLight has raised approximately $235 million to date and is rapidly expanding to new market opportunities in human health, animal health, and plant health.