GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Novartis Corporation Receives Patent For ...

		  Novartis Corporation Receives Patent For ...

PR   22.01.97 23:19   

          Novartis Corporation Receives Patent For Transgenic Wheat

    GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Novartis Corporation received
a U.S. patent yesterday for genetically modified wheat.  The technology include
in this patent is used to insert new genetic traits into wheat, such as disease
and insect resistance.  This type of technology is already used to develop
transgenic corn, soybeans, tomatoes and other crops.
    "This breakthrough will help research scientists develop new wheat plants
with benefits for farmers, food processors and the environment," says Edward T.
Shonsey, president and CEO of Novartis Seeds, Inc.  "Novartis is already a
leader in plant biotechnology.  This patent for wheat confirms the company's
prominence in scientific discovery."
    Also yesterday, Novartis Corporation received a patent covering a method of
protecting corn against insects, including European corn borers, which are
killed when they eat corn plants containing the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
    U.S. Patent No. 5,596,131 is the first patent issued for transgenic wheat.
Novartis plans to broadly license the intellectual property rights.
    The patent was issued on the basis of cutting-edge biotechnology discovery
regarding research conducted by the former Ciba Seeds.  On Jan. 1, 1997, Ciba
Seeds and Northrup King Co. merged to form the new Novartis Seeds, Inc.
    Novartis Seeds, Inc. is an affiliate of Novartis Seeds AG located in
Switzerland.  Novartis Corporation is the parent company for all U.S. Novartis
operations, including Novartis Seeds, Inc.  Novartis Seeds AG is a leading
worldwide research organization which produces and sells corn, soybean, alfalfa
sunflower, sorghum, sugarbeet, vegetable and flower seeds.

SOURCE  Novartis Corporation
    -0-                             1/22/97
    /CONTACT:  Amy Beeler of Novartis Seeds, 612-593-7282/

CO:  Novartis Corporation ST:  Minnesota IN:  AGR SU:

Copyright 1997 PR Newswire.  All rights reserved