Monsanto/Evogene extend R&D pact
Monsanto and the Israeli biotechnology company, Evogene (Rehovot), have again extended their research agreement on the development of improved crops. The five-year collaboration in 2008 on the identification of genes related to yield, environmental stress and fertiliser utilisation in maize, soybeans, cotton and canola, was prolonged by a year in late 2011 (Agrow No 630, p 23). That deal has now been extended until August 2016. A new five-year programme has been added on the identification of genes for resistance to stalk rot (Fusarium spp) in maize. Evogene will provide Monsanto with candidate genes and Monsanto will have exclusive rights to commercialise them as part of its maize trait pipeline. The original option for Monsanto to buy 1 million Evogene shares at $12/share has been cancelled in exchange for an increase in milestone payments and royalty rates. A new $12 million put option provides for the sale of shares at market value.