REHOVOT, ISRAEL and ST. LOUIS, MO, USA (September 21, 2011) – Evogene Ltd. (TASE: EVGN) and Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) announced today the successful completion of the third year of their research and development collaboration.
The goal of this five–year collaboration agreement is to discover genes that could enhance crop yield for farmers in corn, soybean, cotton and canola. Under the collaboration, Evogene is focused on identifying key plant genes related to yield, environmental stress, and fertilizer utilization for further evaluation and potential development and commercialization by Monsanto.
During the initial three years of collaborative work, Evogene utilized its computational genomics technology, the ATHLETE, to successfully discover genes, predict, and provide validation in model plants, to address the objectives of the collaboration. A number of the genes discovered by Evogene are now undergoing evaluation in target crops in Monsanto’s research and development pipeline. During the remaining two years, even as more performance data for these initial genes are obtained, further discovery and validation work will also be conducted, potentially leading to even more new genes and potential product candidates for growers.
“As populations grow and as diets and climates shift around the world, more than ever the global community is relying on the success of farmers in every part of the world,” said Bob Reiter, Vice President and Global Lead of Biotechnology for Monsanto Company. “By partnering with research companies like Evogene, we hope to bring more tools to farmers faster than we could solely through our own internal research. We view collaborations such as the one with Evogene as central to our future success in helping farmers increase productivity. And ultimately, their success is our success.”
Ofer Haviv, Evogene's President and CEO stated "Our relationship with Monsanto has been a substantial and important component of our company’s trait research and discovery activities during these past three years. Therefore, we are extremely pleased to see both the promising results to date and the excellent collaborative environment that has been established by our two companies. We look forward to continuing this productive collaboration as we utilize our innovative and continuously improving predictive capabilities to deliver novel genes that, under Monsanto’s development program, will hopefully result in future products for farmers.”
Evogene is a world leading developer of improved plant traits, such as yield and drought tolerance, for a wide diversity of key crops through the use of plant genomics. The company focuses on utilizing its proprietary computational genomic technologies to provide a complete solution for plant trait improvement through combining state of the art biotechnology and advanced breeding methods. These technologies include ATHLETE 3.0 for gene discovery; Gene2Product for improving trait efficacy and probability of successful development of biotechnology seed products; and EvoBreed for breeding enhancement. Evogene's plant genomics capabilities combine high throughput plant validation systems, field experiments and proprietary genomic data creation. Evogene is collaborating with world leading seed companies to introduce its improved plant traits into key commercial crops under milestone and royalty bearing agreements. Evogene's headquarters are in Rehovot, Israel, and its stock is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: EVGN). For additional information, please visit Evogene’s website at www.evogene.com.