PlantGenix, Inc.
3701 Market St., Suite 440
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
Phone: 215-966-6163
Fax: 800-834-3560

Year Founded: 1999 No. of Employees: 12
Industry: Life Science Seeking: $8 Million

Robert Cibulsky, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, is a 25-year industry veteran who has served as a research director and head of corporate development for the agricultural products division of Abbott Laboratories. Dr. Cibulsky earned a B.S. in Biology from Hamilton College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Biochemistry from Auburn University.

Philip Heifetz, MBA, Chief Financial Officer and Director, Business Development plays a key role in financial management, corporate strategy, and is working to build upon the Scotts agreement to expand the business development activities of the company. Mr. Heifetz earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Georgetown University, and received his MBA from the Wharton School.

Brent Bankosky, M.S., MBA, Business Development Manager, has over 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and was responsible for managing scientific and marketing alliance efforts at GlaxoSmithKline. Mr. Bankosky earned a B.S. in Microbiology and an MBA in Finance from Pennsylvania State University, and an M.S. in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University.

Robert Cibulsky, Ph.D.,
President & CEO

Philip Heifetz, MBA, CFO & Director,
Business Development

Brent Bankosky, M.S., MBA, Manager,
Business Development


PlantGenix applies proprietary technology to revolutionize the use of plants to solve important human problems. With our patented technology, we can control plant aging and ripening, as well as greatly reduce the manufacturing cost of high value chemical compounds. Demand for our patented technology comes from customers in large markets such as pharmaceutical production, nutritional foods and agriculture.

Product Line or Service: The following are near-term targets for product development activities at PlantGenix:

Improved bedding plants: in collaboration with Scotts, and independently for some species and geographies outside the agreement.

Longer-lasting cut flowers: application of ethylene modulation to extend the lifetimes of major species like carnation. Would decrease production costs by eliminating need for air transportation, and would enable stockpiling to take advantage of rapid changes in market price.

High Yield Cotton: new varieties of cotton that retain more bolls per plant, equating to significantly greater yields and lower overall costs to farmers.

Nutraceutical production: application of membrane transport to increase yield (and lower production cost) for valuable nutritional ingredients like isoflavones from soy, lutein from marigolds, etc.

Other bioproduction: membrane transport can be similarly applied to production of complex pharmaceutical and specialty chemical molecules where synthesis is very expensive or not commercially feasible.

Technology/Proprietary Rights: PlantGenix has developed the following proprietary technologies:

Membrane Transport: technology to accumulate large concentrations of molecules within the plant cell. Primary benefits of the technology include increasing the yield of target molecules, decreasing extraction costs, and thereby lowering the cost of goods sold.

Ethylene Modulation: By controlling a plant's response to a key hormone, ethylene, PlantGenix makes it possible to produce longer lasting flowers, and fruits and vegetables that ripen when desired.

Market Opportunities:   Horticulture/floriculture: >$1 billion
Agricultural traits (cotton): $500-$600 million
Nutraceuticals: >$500 million
Bioproduction: >$1 billion

Competition: Membrane Transport: There are relatively few approaches to increasing the yield of valuable molecules from plants. Traditionally, most efforts have focused on breeding different varieties of a particular species in search of high producer lines. This process is extremely slow, and most often results in only incremental improvements. A related approach is to induce new mutations (varieties) through chemical or other means, and a number of other companies are working in this direction, although it too is slow and not likely to produce large improvements. Some groups have attempted to engineer the metabolic pathway of particular plants to either increase target molecule production or to put new pathways into plants that previously lacked the ability to make particular metabolites. While this approach holds tremendous promise to be revolutionary (i.e., "Golden Rice" with vitamin A production pathway added), many commercial and academic groups have become frustrated with the difficulty of this area of research and abandoned their efforts. Our approach attempts to achieve the revolutionary improvements of pathway engineering without the frustration. While these other indirect competitors exist, to the best of our knowledge, no other company is developing a general solution to the problem of accumulation, although most companies acknowledge that this is an emerging concern.

Ethylene Modulation: PlantGenix faces direct competition from other genetic technologies for controlling the ethylene response. Companies attempting to commercialize these technologies include: Seminis, Harris Moran, and Ball Helix. The majority of the competing technologies aim to slow the production of ethylene, whereas PlantGenix technologies target ethylene signal transduction. PlantGenix also faces indirect competition from chemical agents that attempt to control the ethylene response such as: ethephon (EthrelTM), methylcyclopropene (MCP), and silver thiosulphate (STS). Potential health risks and high application costs are a drawback from using chemical treatments to control the ethylene response.