Collaboration to drive development of new insect resistant cotton varieties
Rehovot, Israel and Cuiabá/MT, Brazil – October 19, 2016 – Evogene Ltd. (NYSE, TASE: EVGN), a leading biotechnology company for the improvement of crop productivity, and Instituto Mato-grossense do Algodão (IMAmt), a leading developer and marketer of cotton seeds, announced today a collaboration for the discovery and validation of novel genomic promoters to support IMAmt’s product development of insect-resistant cotton varieties. The multi-year collaboration agreement between the companies provides for R&D fees and royalty payments from any future products developed as a result of the collaboration, to be paid to Evogene.
As part of the collaboration, Evogene will apply its biology-driven, predictive computational technology to identify novel genomic promoters. The two companies will then work jointly to validate the candidate promoters in cotton. The resulting validated promoters will support IMAmt’s product development pipeline of cotton varieties based on Bt toxins, a family of bacterial genes toxic to insects, and featuring resistance to Boll Weevil, a beetle-like pest which feeds on cotton buds and flowers.
Genomic promoters are segments of DNA that determine the expression patterns for genes. Such promoters, when used with appropriate genes, are an essential component of improving seed trait efficacy.
“We are very excited to support IMAmt’s product development efforts in the area of novel insect resistant varieties. This collaboration is indicative of a growing realization in our industry that the selection of the most appropriate promoter is a crucial component in the successful development of a seed trait,” said Ofer Haviv, Evogene President and Chief Executive Officer. “Evogene’s broadly applicable biology-driven computational platform provides a very unique solution to this need.”
“We have great expectations towards this partnership with Evogene and we are sure that it will be crucial for the success of our project of developing cotton GM plants resistant to boll weevil, key pest of this crop in South America” said Alvaro Salles, IMAmt Chief Executive Officer.
The agreement expands Evogene’s activity in the field of promoter discovery and follows the Company’s recent initial results for successful promoter validation.
Instituto Mato-grossense do Algodão (IMAmt) is a crop research and extension company, owned by Mato Grosso Cotton Grower’s Association (Ampa, Cuiabá/ Brazil). Created in 2007, IMAmt release cotton, soybean and other crop varieties for farmers of Brazilian’s cerrados, with technologies for herbicides, pests, diseases and nematode resistance. For more informations, please visit www.imamt.com.br
About Evogene Ltd.:
Evogene (NYSE, TASE: EVGN) is a leading biotechnology company for the improvement of crop productivity for the food, feed and fuel industries. The Company operates in three key market segments: improved seed traits (addressing yield and resistance to diseases and environmental stresses); innovative ag-chemicals (developing novel herbicide solutions for weed control); and ag-biologicals. Evogene has collaborations with world-leading seed and ag-chemical companies. For more information, please visit www.evogene.com or contact the Company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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