Evogene to set up US R&D facility
The Israeli biotechnology company, Evogene (Rehovot), has agreed to establish a US research and development facility on the campus of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St Louis, Missouri. The establishment of the facility is seen as a key component of the company's $10 million investment in the development of genetically modified insect-resistant crop traits. The 6,000 sq ft (557 m2) facility will feature state-of-the-art laboratories and insect rearing rooms and is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year, the company points out. It will support Evogene's insect control activities, initially focusing on corn rootworms (Diabrotica spp) and soybean aphids. The facility will incorporate field-specific modifications of the company's existing gene testing and validation infrastructure and new capabilities for targeting these and other high-impact pests, Evogene notes.