Monsanto/Evogene extend R&D deal
Monsanto and Israeli plant genomics company Evogene (Rehovot) are to extend their five- year research collaboration, which began in 2008, by a year to include Evogene’s Gene2Product computational technologies. The R&D deal is focused on identifying key plant genes related to yield, environmental stress and fertiliser utilisation in maize, soybeans, cotton and canola using Evogene’s Athlete computational technology. The addition of the Gene2Product platform will enhance trait efficacy and the development of candidate genes identified under the collaboration. The deal sees Evogene provide Monsanto with candidate genes discovered by its computational technologies, that will be validated by Evogene in model plants. Monsanto has exclusive licence rights to genes delivered by Evogene for commercialisation in maize, soybeans, canola and cotton. As part of the original agreement, Monsanto agreed, via a put option exercisable by Evogene, to invest $12 million in the company.