Biogemma Licenses Yield and Drought Tolerance Genes from Evogene for Commercialization in Corn

16/03/2010

The Agreement is in Continuation of the Parties' 2006 Joint Research Agreement
Rehovot, Israel and Paris, France, March 16, 2010 – Evogene Ltd. (TASE: EVGN) and Biogemma SAS today announced the signing of a licensing agreement for the development and commercialization by Biogemma of hybrid corn lines, displaying improved yield and drought tolerance.

The improved corn lines will incorporate certain Evogene discovered genes which have been jointly evaluated by the parties through a collaboration initiated in 2006. Under the newly signed licensing agreement, Biogemma receives worldwide exclusive commercialization rights to the genes for corn; financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Pursuant to the earlier 2006 joint research agreement, corn lines incorporating various Evogene discovered genes were validated by Biogemma and Evogene in field trials in the USA and Israel during 2008 and 2009.  
Pascual Perez, CEO for Biogemma stated, "We were pleased to see that the results of the Evogene’s leads confirmed our interest in the Evogene's discovered genes for our major target crop: maïze. We are also very satisfied with the efficient research collaboration that has been established by the two companies and which allowed us to rapidly finalize this important Proof of Concept. Under the newly signed agreement and commercial license, we will now focus our efforts on developing the improved maïze product for the benefits of our seed company shareholders.”
Ofer Haviv, Evogene’s President and CEO stated, “Improved plant yield and drought tolerance are perhaps the most critical needs in today's worldwide agriculture, and as such are key targets for Evogene’s ag-bio trait program. We therefore are extremely pleased by Biogemma’s decision to continue the validation and further development of our genes in corn and consider this as a very positive outcome of the parties' joint collaborative efforts.”