Sumitomo/Tokyo Uni in aflatoxin control deal
Sumitomo Corporation has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with the University of Tokyo to develop, market, produce and distribute a bacterium-based technology to control aflatoxin production. The bacterium produces a substance that inhibits aflatoxin production without affecting the growth of the fungus that produces aflatoxin, thus avoiding the development of a resistant strain. The University has submitted a patent application for the technology developed by researchers led by Associate Professor Shohei Sakuda. Sumitomo expects to follow up the agreement by bringing in a third partner to commercialise the technology. Aflatoxin contamination leads to losses of some $600 million in the US and $1,300 million in Asia, the company says.