Front Range Biosciences Announces International Partnership with the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics

LAFAYETTE, Colo., March 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Front Range Biosciences® ("FRB"), which provides hemp, coffee, and high-value crop producers with high-performing Clean Stock® plants and seed by combining the best practices in modern agriculture with innovative technologies, is pleased to announce its entry into a partnership with the Barcelona-based Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics ("CRAG"). The breeding partnership will allow for FRB to leverage CRAG's world-class research facilities to advance its marker-assisted breeding platform in the development of new cannabis plant varieties, and make improvements in hemp cultivation methodology.

A recognized leader in European crop and research development, CRAG is an independent organization established across a consortium of four major Spanish research institutions, among them, the Institute for Agri-Food Research and Technology (IRTA), whose researchers will be involved in the collaborative project with FRB. CRAG's scientific programs include research into genomics, metabolic engineering and plant responses to biotic/abiotic stress, fields relevant to FRB's goals of creating crops that retain their desired qualities in differing global climates.

"We are happy to establish our presence in Europe with the help of such an innovative and well-regarded organization," said Ray French, Director of Product Development for FRB. "As the United States enters the global hemp marketplace, the natural next step is for companies like FRB to adapt our products to the conditions and demands of foreign farms and agriculture. Partnerships with leading entities like CRAG are vital to developing crops that are internationally proven and created with methods informed by the best available worldwide knowledge."

The partnership between FRB and CRAG will involve a combination of field trails, selective breeding and genomic research leveraging access to unique germplasm collections from around the world. Collectively, these efforts will aid in developing hemp plants that perform well throughout differing climates, resist disease, and produce unique cannabinoid and terpene profiles. CRAG's significant scientific and experimental resources and infrastructure, including its confined greenhouses, laboratories, and computational capabilities will play a major role in this work. As FRB gains the ability to test its products in this new environment, it will share with CRAG the techniques it has developed to ensure best-in-class agricultural and horticultural performance for its existing and future hemp cultivars.

"The partnership between FRB and CRAG leverages the complementary expertise and capabilities of both institutions to strengthen research and accelerate the development of innovative solutions for high-value crops," said José Luis Riechmann, Director of CRAG. "We look forward to a very productive collaboration with such a forward-looking company as FRB."

For more information on FRB and CRAG, please visit http://www.frontrangebio.com and https://www.cragenomica.es/.

About Front Range Biosciences

FRB is an agricultural biotech company that specializes in tissue culture propagation of high value crops at industrial scale to improve consistency and efficiency for young plant production. FRB also has an advanced breeding program for identifying and improving commercially relevant traits. FRB is located in Lafayette, Colorado.

About the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) 
The Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) is a Center based in Barcelona, Spain that forms part of the CERCA system of Research Centers of the Government of Catalonia, and which was established as a partnership of four institutions: the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Institute for Agri-Food Research and Technology (IRTA), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and the University of Barcelona (UB). CRAG's research spans from basic research in plant and farm animal molecular biology, to applications of molecular approaches for breeding of species important for agriculture and food production in close collaboration with industry. CRAG has been recognized as "Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa 2016-2019" by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

Sean Doyle