Rehovot-based Evogene Ltd. (TASE:EVGN) and Monsanto (NYSE: MON) today announced that they have agreed a one-year extension to their five-year R&D collaboration to identify key plant genes related to yield, environmental stress and fertilizer utilization in corn, soybean, cotton and canola. The companies recently announced the successful completion of the collaboration's third year.
The collaboration's gene discovery activities have so far been based on Evogene's Athlete computational technology. As part of the extension, Evogene will add its Gene2Product computational technologies to its gene discovery program, offering an additional approach for enhancing trait efficacy and the development of candidate genes identified under the collaboration.
Evogene president and CEO Ofer Haviv said, "We are delighted by this extension of our joint work with Monsanto and in particular with the addition of our Gene2Product computational technologies. We expect that by bringing together Monsanto's development expertise and these new Evogene technologies, in addition to those already utilized in the collaboration, the companies will be able to further address some of the key challenges that the seed industry is facing in the discovery and development process for biotechnology products in agriculture."
As part of the original collaboration, Monsanto agreed, via a put option exercisable by Evogene, to invest $12 million towards additional equity in Evogene. Monsanto said that this arrangement remains in place under a new put option that is exercisable at $12 per share at a later date.
Evogene's share price rose 5.5% on the TASE today to NIS 14.96.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 29, 2011
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011