Evogene initially received $5 million to provide genes related to yield, environmental stress, and fertilizer utilization.
Monsanto and Evogene are working together to discover and deliver crop yield-enhancing technologies. Evogene will receive $5 million upfront and roughly $6 million per year over the next five years, the term of the collaboration.
Separately, Monsanto purchased an $18 million equity stake in Evogene, representing approximately a 13% share in the company. Monsanto also agreed to purchase an additional $12 million in equity as well as pay milestone fees if Evogene fulfils certain obligations such as identifying a particular number of genes per year, according to Liat Cinamon, press relations and investment relations executive at Evogene. Monsanto will pay royalties based on resulting sales.
Monsanto believes that this partnership will help support its commitment to double yields in its core crops by 2030. Evogene will identify key plant genes related to yield, environmental stress, and fertilizer utilization using its computational platform. The genes will then be validated in model plants.
Monsanto will receive exclusive licensing rights to these genes in a number of crops including corn, soybean, canola, and cotton. The company owns all commercialization rights to products that emerge from the joint development.
“Monsanto has developed a powerful technology to predict hundreds of genes related to a certain trait,” something that has previously been tough to do, Cinamon points out.
This alliance between Monsanto and Evogene builds on a deal between the firms inked in September of 2007 to improve nitrogen-use efficiency in corn, soybeans, canola, and cotton.