- Evogene is incorporating its new gene optimization program into its long-term collaboration with Monsanto.
- The addition comes after Evogene identified and validated more than 1,000 genes that have entered Monsanto’s product pipeline which improve yield and stress tolerance.
- Evogene’s computational technology system has the potential to accelerate Monsanto’s product development efforts in helping farmers increase productivity.
Evogene Ltd. (NYSE, TASE:EVGN), a Rehovot-based company that improves crop productivity and economics for the food, feed and biofuel industries, announced today that it is incorporating its recently developed comprehensive gene optimization program into its multi-year collaboration with Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON). The addition of these new capabilities, which have been designed to optimize desired trait efficacy and potentially accelerate product development, follows the successful identification and validation by Evogene of more than one thousand genes that have entered Monsanto’s product development pipeline. The collaboration, initiated in 2008 and extended in 2013, is focused on transgenic approaches for improved yield and enhanced stress tolerance in corn, soybean, cotton and canola. Genes identified under the collaboration represent an important component of Monsanto’s yield and environmental stress research and development program.
Tom Adams, Global Biotechnology Lead at Monsanto stated:
“We continue to be very pleased with our long-term collaboration with Evogene, as we look to bring to market new products that help farmers increase their productivity. As a valuable complement to Evogene’s proven gene discovery capabilities, we have recently also been very impressed with Evogene’s comprehensive gene optimization platform, which has the potential to accelerate our product development efforts. This has led us to devote a substantial portion of our remaining joint efforts under our current collaboration to applying these innovative technologies.”
Ofer Haviv, Evogene President and CEO stated:
“Our collaboration with Monsanto is a substantial and important component of our company’s trait research and discovery activities. During the past six years, both teams have built a very strong and integrated relationship through the consistent sharing of knowhow and learnings, and the relationship continues to grow and evolve as we work together to bring yield and stress products to market. A key and increasing focus of our current efforts is to utilize more recently developed Evogene tools and systems in a comprehensive program for gene optimization, particularly with respect to gene combinations and trait stability. We are confident that our competitive advantages in these areas will have a significant impact on the probability of success for achieving novel end- products with substantial value to farmers.”
Evogene’s gene optimization platform includes, among other components, advanced computational tools for defining the optimal expression pattern for a candidate gene, for assessing a gene’s ability to perform consistently across different varieties of the target crop, and for identifying novel gene combinations that improve crop performance.
- Evogene has been publicly traded on the TASE since 2007. In late 2013, the Company raised approximately $85 million and listed on the NYSE.
- In 2013, the company also expanded and extended most of its key strategic collaborations, including its agreements with Monsanto, Syngenta and DuPont Pioneer. The Company has over 25 product programs targeting the industry’s most significant traits and crops.
- Recently, Evogene expanded its scope of operations and announced entry into the field of Insect Resistance, one of the industry’s substantial and unmet fields.
- Commercial production of castor bean varieties developed in Brazil by Evofuel, a subsidiary focusing on biofuel, are expected to take place during 2016.
Credit Suisse recently rated Monsanto Co. and Evogene Ltd. as Outperform in its top agricultural stock picks for 2015.
About Evogene Ltd.:
Founded in 2002 as a subsidiary of Compugen, Evogene (NYSE:EVGN) (TASE:EVGN) is a leading company for the improvement of crop productivity and economics for the food, feed and biofuel industries. The Company has strategic collaborations with world-leading agricultural companies to develop improved seed traits in relation to yield and abiotic stress (such as tolerance to drought), and biotic stress (such as resistance to disease and nematodes), in key crops as corn, soybean, wheat and rice, and is also focused on the research and development of new products for crop protection (such as weed control). In addition, the Company has a wholly-owned subsidiary, Evofuel, that is developing seeds for second generation feedstock for biodiesel.