Collaboration to focus on improving fertilizer uptake and drought tolerance
Rehovot, Israel & Beijing, China, May 29, 2013 – Evogene Ltd. (TASE: EVGN), a world leader in plant genomics underlying crop productivity for the food, feed and biofuel industries, and Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co. Ltd. (DBN) (SZ:220385), a Chinese biotechnology company, today announced a collaboration, focused on improving productivity by increasing fertilizer uptake and drought tolerance in rice. Pursuant to the collaboration agreement, candidate genes discovered and prioritized by Evogene for these key traits will be introduced into DBN’s pipeline for the development of improved rice. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Rice is one of the most important grains for human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one fifth of all calories consumed worldwide. Over 50 percent of the world’s population is dependent upon rice for 80 percent of its nutrition. China is the world largest consumer and producer of rice, with approximately 25% of all world rice production. Under the collaboration, DBN will be granted a license to candidate genes, identified and prioritized through Evogene’s ATHLETE™ computational technology and validated in model plants. DBN will introduce and develop the licensed genes in rice as part of its R&D pipeline and have the right to commercialize rice incorporating these genes in China. Evogene will be entitled to receive milestone payments and royalties based on the sale of resulting products. “With China’s need to support a fifth of the world’s population with less than ten percent of the world’s arable land, it is clear that innovative technologies are required to minimize the gap and meet the growing demand for food,” stated Mr. Ofer Haviv, Evogene’s President and CEO. “We are pleased to cooperate with DBN on developing improved rice for China, the world’s largest market for this important crop.”
“Improving use efficiency of fertilizer and water can increase farmer productivity, while ensuring the sustainability of agriculture”, said Dr. Yuping Lu, General Manager of the DBN Biotech Center. “We are pleased to collaborate with Evogene in
developing improved rice to bring more innovative products to farmers and to increase our ability to meet the growing food needs in China.”
DBN is a leading biotechnology company in China. DBN’s newly developed Biotech Center specializes in novel gene discovery and evaluation, crop genetic transformation and commercial event selection to product development through its high through-put platforms, greenhouse facilities and crop field test centers. With the strong support from the Central Government and collaborations with many research institutes and companies, DBN is strategically positioning itself to be one of the important players in the global market in the industry. DBN, listed for trading on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZ: 220385), is headquartered in Beijing, China. For additional information, please visit DBN’s website at www.dbnbc.com
Evogene is a world leading plant genomics company, utilizing a proprietary integrated technology infrastructure to enhance seed traits underlying crop productivity. Evogene offers a complete solution for crop productivity improvement through biotechnology and advanced breeding using a unique technology infrastructure that is based on deep scientific understandings of plant genomics and proprietary computational capabilities. The Company has strategic collaborations with world-leading agricultural companies to develop improved seed traits in relation to yield and a-biotic stress (such as tolerance to drought), and biotic stress (such as resistance to disease), in key crops as corn, soybean, wheat and rice. In addition, Evogene has earlier stage operations in agriculture chemicals, and seeds focusing on second generation feedstock for biodiesel. The Company’s headquarters are located in Rehovot, Israel and is listed for trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: EVGN). For additional information, please visit Evogene.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” relating to future events. These statements may be identified by words such as “may”, “expects”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “plans”, “believes”, “scheduled”, “estimates” or words of similar meaning. Such statements are based on current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions, describe opinions about future events, involve certain risks and uncertainties which are difficult to predict and are not guarantees of future performance. Therefore, actual future results, performance or achievements of Evogene may differ materially from what is expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, many of which beyond Evogene’s control, including, without limitation, those risk factors contained in Evogene’s reports filed with the Israeli Securities Authority. Evogene disclaims any obligation or commitment to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or developments or changes in expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions.
Karen Mazor, Evogene
Director, Public and Investor Relations