Extension of existing collaboration covering yield, environmental stress and fertilizer utilization in corn, soybean, cotton and canola to August 2016
Expansion of the collaboration to include a program for resistance to Stalk Rot disease caused by Fusarium species
St. Louis, MO (USA) and Rehovot, ISRAEL – October 28, 2013 – Monsanto Company and Evogene Ltd. (TASE: EVGN) announced today the extension and expansion of their research and development collaboration. The collaboration, initially signed in 2008 and later extended in 2011, has focused on identifying key plant genes related to yield, environmental stress and fertilizer utilization in corn, soybean, cotton and canola. The newly signed agreement extends these existing programs through to August 2016, and adds a new five year program for the identification of genes providing resistance to Stalk Rot disease in corn, caused by multiple Fusarium species. Fusarium is a family of fungi that causes significant yield loss across the world’s major crops.
“We are extremely pleased with Monsanto’s decision to again extend our excellent broad collaboration in the areas of yield and abiotic stress tolerance with respect to the four major field crops,” said Ofer Haviv, Evogene’s President and CEO. “The addition of a new discovery program focused on Fusarium resistance is another indication of Evogene’s growing commitment and activities targeted at biotic stress related conditions, and the broad applicability of our unique technology platform.”
“Agricultural innovation will be key to helping meet growing global demand,” added David Fischhoff, Monsanto Technology Strategy Development Lead. “Through the combination of Evogene’s gene discovery technologies with our company’s trait development expertise, this collaboration is focused on developing new tools that help farmers drive yields even further.”
Terms of the revised collaboration agreement include:
Evogene will provide Monsanto with candidate genes that are predicted to improve yield, fertilizer utilization and plant resistance to environmental stress. Monsanto will receive exclusive license rights to develop and commercialize the candidate genes as part of Monsanto’s trait pipelines for corn, soybean, canola, and cotton.
Evogene will also provide Monsanto with candidate genes predicted to provide resistance to Stalk Rot disease caused by multiple Fusarium species. Monsanto will receive exclusive license rights to develop and commercialize the candidate genes as part of Monsanto’s trait pipeline for corn.
For all collaboration programs, Evogene will utilize its ATHLETETM computational technology for gene discovery, and its Gene2ProductTM platform for optimizing trait efficacy and accelerating the product development process.
Evogene will be entitled to receive both milestone payments and royalty payments for all successful candidate genes emerging from the collaboration that are developed and commercialized by Monsanto. Evogene will also receive additional research and development payments to support the increased activities.The prior agreement included a put option giving Evogene the right, under defined conditions, to sell one million Evogene shares to Monsanto at $12 per share. The prior put option has been cancelled in exchange for an increase in all future milestone payments and royalty rates with respect to genes licensed by Evogene to Monsanto. The prior put option has been replaced with a new $12 million put option under which shares will be sold at market value at time of exercise (subject to set minimum and maximum prices).
About Evogene Ltd.
Evogene is a 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 the Company is listed for trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: EVGN). For additional information, please visit Evogene’s website at www.evogene.com
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows at www.monsantoblog.com, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
As it applies to Evogene Ltd., 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.
As it applies to Monsanto Company, this press release contains “forward-looking statements”, such as statements concerning the company’s anticipated financial results, current and future product performance, regulatory approvals, business and financial plans and other non-historical facts. These statements are based on current expectations and currently available information. However, since these statements are based on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, the company’s actual performance and results may differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among others: continued competition in seeds, traits and agricultural chemicals; the company’s exposure to various contingencies, including those related to intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received, and public acceptance of biotechnology products; the success of the company’s research and development activities; the outcomes of major lawsuits and the previously-announced SEC investigation; developments related to foreign currencies and economies; successful operation of recent acquisitions; fluctuations in commodity prices;
compliance with regulations affecting our manufacturing; the accuracy of the company’s estimates related to distribution inventory levels; the company’s ability to fund its short-term financing needs and to obtain payment for the products that it sells; the effect of weather conditions, natural disasters and accidents on the agriculture business or the company’s facilities; and other risks and factors detailed in the company’s most recent Form 10-K Report to the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this release. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may affect actual results.
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