Evogene opens new crop protection R&D center

The Rehovot facility will support the company's product programs focusing on fungus, insect and weed control.

Evogene Ltd. (NYSE: EVGN; TASE:EVGN) has opened dedicated R&D facilities at its Rehovot facility to support the company's product programs focusing on fungus, insect and weed control.

Evogene strives to improve crop productivity and economics for the food, feed and biofuel industries. The company sees crop protection as a major focus of growth and expansion and looks to develop novel seed traits as well as seed external solutions for these areas.

Over the past year, Evogene significantly increased its activities in the area of crop protection. In late 2013, as part of its multi-year collaboration with Monsanto, the company announced a new product program targeting Stalk Rot disease caused by various fungi species. In April, Evogene disclosed its entry into the area of plant insect resistance and control with initial activities focusing on developing seed traits displaying resistance to two key insects, corn rootworm and soybean aphids. With respect to weed control, the company recently announced that it anticipates completing during 2015 a start-to-end molecular discover platform for the development of chemical herbicides based on novel "modes of action".

The newly completed facilities support these new and increased areas of activity, and are part of Evogene's $10 million investment in expanding its existing knowledge base, computational platforms, and testing and validation capabilities.

Evogene President and CEO Ofer Haviv said, "This expansion demonstrates our strategic commitment to strengthening our internal R&D capabilities in key areas within the crop protection field where there is a dire need for new solutions. Our substantially expanded capabilities in this area, including these new dedicated facilities, will provide Evogene with significantly greater in-house capacity for discovery, testing and evaluation of promising genes and chemical compounds. More importantly, we anticipate that leveraging our unique underlying discovery capabilities with this enhanced and expanded infrastructure will lead to important new product opportunities for fungi, insect and weed control."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 29, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

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