Davis, California and Rehovot, Israel – March 28, 2017 – Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. (MBI), (NASDAQ: MBII), a leading global provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products, and Evogene Ltd. (NASDAQ, TASE: EVGN), a leading company for the improvement of crop productivity and economics for food, feed and fuel, announced today that MBI will advance certain novel bacteria and Evogene-identified related proteins into MBI’s bioinsecticide product development pipeline under their previously announced multi-year collaboration for the discovery and development of novel insect control solutions.
According to MarketsandMarkets, the bioinsecticides market was estimated to be valued at $1.2 billion in 2015. It is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.3% from 2016 to 2021, reaching $3.2 billion by 2021. However, MBI also expects to access the larger chemical insecticide market, valued at $14 billion in 2014, according to Jefferies. MBI has historically brought new biopesticides to the market in approximately 3-5 years or less. The target pests related to MBI’s potential new product include the caterpillar (lepidopteran) and sucking bug (hemipteran/homopteran) species.
The collaboration, initiated in July 2014, and supported by funding from the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, aims to bring to market new insect control solutions – both seed traits and bio-insecticides – through leveraging the expertise and distinct assets and capabilities of each party. The parties have agreed to share revenues from any products that may result from this collaboration.
Utilizing its proprietary computational platform BiomeMiner™ and other predictive discovery capabilities, Evogene identified candidate proteins from tens of thousands of proteins within selected insecticidal strains from MBI’s extensive and proprietary bacterial collection. The proteins’ bioactivity for pest control was then validated in insect assays, with the result that a subset of the candidate proteins demonstrated positive insecticidal results.
The advancement announced today represents the completion of the collaboration’s discovery phase and a shift by the companies towards product development. The bacteria that were selected to advance into MBI’s pipeline contain candidate proteins with positive insecticidal properties, while in parallel Evogene continues its product development efforts to develop seed trait solutions based on such proteins.
Pam Marrone, CEO and Founder of Marrone Bio Innovations, said “It is exciting to see validation of the companies’ joint work in the discovery phase as we move toward product development activities. MBI already has significant experience with the development of bioinsecticide products, and we will be targeting our future efforts on filling gaps in our portfolio to better address unmet needs in the market.”
Ofer Haviv, President and CEO of Evogene, stated, “We are very pleased with the successful completion of the discovery stage for this program with both parties now advancing into product development based on Evogene-identified proteins. We look forward to continuing this collaboration with MBI and to the successful development of new insect control solutions by each of us.”
About Marrone Bio Innovations
Smart. Natural. Solutions.
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBII) strives to lead the movement to a more sustainable world through the discovery, development and promotion of biological products for pest management and plant health. MBI’s effective and environmentally responsible solutions help customers operate more sustainably while controlling pests, improving plant health, and increasing crop yields. MBI has four products for agriculture on the market (Regalia®, Grandevo®, Venerate® and Majestene®). MBI also distributes Bio-tam 2.0® for Isagro USA in the western U.S. and MBI also markets Zequanox® for invasive mussels for water markets. MBI also has a proprietary discovery process, a rapid development platform, and a robust pipeline of pest management and plant health product candidates. At Marrone Bio Innovations, the team is dedicated to pioneering better biopesticides that support a better tomorrow for users around the globe. For more information, please visit www.marronebio.com.
About Evogene Ltd.
Evogene (NASDAQ, TASE: EVGN) is a leading biotechnology company for the improvement of crop productivity. The Company has developed a proprietary innovative technology platform, leveraging scientific understanding & computational technologies to harness Ag ‘Big Data’ for developing improved seed traits (via: GM and non-GM approaches), as well as innovative ag-chemical and novel ag-biological products. Evogene has strategic collaborations with world-leading agricultural companies like: BASF, Bayer, DuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta, focusing on innovative crop enhancement and crop protection solutions. For more information, please visit www.evogene.com.
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Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertain-ties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding strategy, future operations and plans, including assumptions underlying such statements, are forward-looking statements, and should not be relied upon as representing MBI’s or Evogene’s views as of any subsequent date. Examples of such statements include statements regarding potential products or product candidates that may be identified and developed by MBI or Evogene, including the isolation, development, commercialization, market for, potential benefits and uses of or revenues from any such product or product candidate, the results of any studies or validation tests on any product candidates, MBI’s or Evogene’s efforts with respect to other potential products, the ongoing strategic partnership between MBI and Evogene and funding by BIRD Foundation. Such forward-looking statements are based on information available to MBI and Evogene as of the date of this release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some beyond the either party’s control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements, including any difficulty in isolating, developing and commercializing any potential product or product candidate, marketing the potential product with either party’s principal customers, competition in the market for pest management products, lack of understanding of bio-based pest management products by customers and growers, and adverse decisions by regulatory agencies and other relevant third parties. Additional information that could lead to material changes in MBI’s or Evogene’s performance is contained in their respective filings with the SEC or other appropriate securities authorities. Neither MBI nor Evogene is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to, update or alter forward-looking statements contained in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.