Rehovot, Israel and St. Louis, Missouri, USA
September 22, 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.”