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Israel-Based NRGene Chooses St. Louis, Missouri, For United States Operations

Israeli genomics company NRGene, a leading genomic big data company, will locate its U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. NRGene, develops advanced computational tools and cutting-edge algorithmic models to facilitate optimal trait discovery and selection for seed companies, animal breeders, and academia.

According to the firm, NRGene’s proven, unique, and comprehensive genomic big data platform enables the detection of genetic differences among individuals that underlie many key traits for breeding such as yield improvement, ability to grow in harsh environmental conditions, and disease resistance. Among its accomplishments, NRGene was the first company to successfully assemble the whole genome sequence for bread wheat, one of the most complex plant or animal genomes.

This is the fourth Israeli company recruited to St. Louis since November 2014 with the help of the Missouri Partnership and BioSTL’s Global STL initiative, which aims to build a direct link between St. Louis and other countries by recruiting international companies to establish a U.S. presence in St. Louis. In 2014, the General Assembly passed and Governor Nixon signed legislation establishing a Missouri trade office in Israel.

“Missouri as the ‘Heartland’ of American agriculture is the natural U.S. home for NRGene,” said Gil Ronen, CEO of NRGene. “Our strong partnership with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center brought us to St. Louis, and GlobalSTL convinced us to stay.”

“Missouri is a world-renowned hub of bioscience innovation and with our unemployment rate dropping to just 4.2 percent, today’s announcement builds on this strong economic momentum,” Governor Jay Nixon said. “NRGene’s decision to locate its U.S. headquarters in St. Louis is another big win for the region and a testament to our commitment to competing worldwide for jobs and investment. I’m very pleased that our bipartisan trade delegation to Israel has already yielded concrete benefits for our state, and look forward to making more good news in the weeks and months to come.”

Creating jobs in the bioscience sector has been a key priority, Governor Nixon’s administration said. The industry was identified as a targeted sector in the Governor’s Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth and now includes more than 4,000 agribusiness and life science companies, including global giants Monsanto and KWS. Missouri’s excellent institutions of higher education provide Missouri with the world’s largest concentration of plant scientists, with 40 of the state’s colleges and universities offering bachelor’s degrees or higher in biological or biomedical science. Additionally, Missouri ranks second in the number of farms in the U.S., providing plant science companies with easy access to suppliers and customers.

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