REHOVOT, ISRAEL and PARIS--(Marketwire - January 19, 2011) -
Evogene Ltd. (TASE: EVGN) and Biogemma SAS today announced that Biogemma will be advancing a yield and drought tolerance corn trait licensed from Evogene to the next phase of development -- Phase II. A number of candidate genes were evaluated by both companies through a joint, multi-year research and development program, initiated in 2006. Positive genes validated in this stage will be further evaluated and integrated by Biogemma through its corn yield and drought development pipeline.
As a result of the achievement of this milestone, Biogemma maintains worldwide exclusive commercialization rights for corn to certain Evogene's discovered yield and drought tolerance genes.
"Today's announcement marks the next step in our collaboration with Evogene. This is an important milestone on the development of improved maize varieties incorporating Evogene's genes for yield and drought tolerance," stated Pascual Perez, Biogemma's CEO.
"The additional results obtained this summer across our drought field evaluation network provided further evidence of the role of these genes. We are excited by the opportunities that these results offer us to develop new corn varieties with improved performance under drought conditions," said Christophe Sallaud, Head of the Transgenesis Department of Biogemma.
"We are delighted by Biogemma's decision to advance Evogene's yield and drought tolerance trait to the next phase of development in its corn pipeline. Biogemma is a leading crop biotechnology company and we are very pleased to be collaborating with the company by providing our trait technology for such an important crop," stated Ofer Haviv, Evogene's President and CEO. "Furthermore, in addition to the obvious importance of this event with respect to our collaboration with Biogemma, this progress further validates Evogene's plant genomics technologies, which are resulting in the discovery of novel genes to serve as attractive leads for the improvement of traits in major food crops."
Biogemma is a leading biotech company in Europe involved in Genomics applied to Field crops. Result of the merger of the biotech activity of three major seed companies, Vilmorin & Cie (Limagrain Group), Euralis and RAGT, with the help of two financial institutions Sofiproteol and Unigrains and the support of the technical agency Arvalis, the company is developing R&D programs with its partners, in field crops (Corn, Wheat, Sunflower and Oilseed rape), focused on yield improvement, biotic and abiotic stress resistance and specialty grain compounds.
Evogene is a world leading developer of improved plant traits, such as yield and drought tolerance, for a wide diversity of key crops through the use of plant genomics. The company is focusing on providing a complete solution for plant trait improvement through combining state of the art biotechnology and advanced breeding methods, based on its computational genomic technologies: ATHLETE 3.0 for gene discovery; RePack for gene expression optimization and EvoBreed for breeding enhancement. Evogene's technology also combines high throughput plant validation systems, field experiments and proprietary genomic data creation. Evogene is collaborating with world leading seed companies to introduce its technology into key commercial crops. Evogene's headquarters are in Rehovot, Israel, and its stock is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: EVGN). For additional information, please visit Evogene's website at www.evogene.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements." These statements include words like "may," "expects," "believes," "scheduled," "potentially" and "intends," and they describe opinions about future events. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Evogene Ltd. to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.