- Rehovot-based Evogene is establishing an R&D facility in St. Louis, Missouri.
- The central focus of the facility will be Evogene’s existing insect control program and it will be headed by Dr. James Presnail, Ph.D.
- The company has received economic incentives from the Missouri Department of Economic Development for its choice of location.
Evogene (NYSE,TASE:EVGN), a leading plant genomics company, has announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent to establish a research and development facility in the Bio-Research and Development Growth (BRDG) Park on the campus of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Establishment of the facility is a key component of the company’s previously disclosed entry into the field of advanced solutions for insect control. The project is expected to cost approximately $10 million in order to expand its existing predictive discovery and validation tools into this field.
The facility and insect control R&D activities will be headed by Dr. James Presnail, PhD, who previously held senior management positions at DuPont Pioneer and brings to the company two decades of in-depth knowledge and experience in the planning, execution and management of insecticidal gene discovery and efficacy testing.
Ofer Haviv, Evogene President and CEO, stated:
“The establishment of this new facility and the addition of Jim to our team will clearly take Evogene to a new level in the important area of insect control, a level which we hope will soon be similar to the leadership position we have already established in the area of yield and stress tolerance. In the short term, we are confident that this substantial strengthening of our assets and business propositions in insect control will now allow us to rapidly expand and accelerate our activities in this area, both on our own and through additional collaborations. In doing so, we are very pleased to expand our R&D operations to St. Louis, and to have the benefit of Jim’s extensive knowledge and management experience in insecticidal gene discovery and development.”
Haviv added the following about the company’s choice in location:
“Our choice to locate at BRDG Park on the Danforth Center campus, a world leader in plant science research, is one we are very proud of as we join this innovative community. Being a company that is committed to the improvement of crop productivity, we share the Danforth Center’s belief that plants hold the key to discoveries and products that will enrich and restore both the environment and the lives of people around the globe.”
About the New R&D Facility
At approximately 6,000-square-foot, the facility will feature state-of-the-art laboratories and insect rearing rooms and is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2015. It will house Evogene’s growing insect control activities, initially focusing on ongoing product programs for corn rootworm and soybean aphids. Both field-specific modifications of the company’s existing gene testing and validation infrastructure and new tools will be incorporated into the R&D at the facility. In addition, the center will aid the company’s field-based data generation activities in the United States. Evogene has received a strategic economic incentive package from the Missouri Department of Economic Development for basing its R&D facility in St. Louis.
About Evogene Ltd.
Based in Rehovot, Evogene 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 related to yield and abiotic stress (such as tolerance to drought) and biotic stress (such as resistance to disease and nematodes) in key crops, and is also focused on the research and development of new products for crop protection (such as weed control). The company has a fully-owned subsidiary, Evofuel, that develops seeds for second generation feedstock for biodiesel. For more information, visit www.evogene.com and www.evo-fuel.com.