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Biogemma S.A.S. Licenses Yield and Drought Tolerance Genes From Evogene Ltd. for Commercialization in Corn


3/16/2010 10:40:24 AM

REHOVOT, ISRAEL and PARIS--(Marketwire - 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 Evogene's leads confirmed our interest in Evogene's discovered genes for our major target crop: maize. 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 maize 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."

About Evogene

Evogene is a world leading developer of improved plant traits for the agriculture and biofuel industries through the use of plant genomics. The company's technology platform is based on a unique computational core technology for gene discovery, the ATHLETE, and high throughput systems for gene validation. Evogene's development programs focus on the improvement of high-commercial value plant traits, such as yield, biotic and a-biotic stresses tolerance, and the improvement of plants specifically for biofuel uses. Evogene is collaborating with world leading seed companies in order 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.

About Biogemma

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 business companies, Vilmorin & Cie (Limagrain Group), Euralis and RAGT and with the help of two financial institutions Sofiproteol and Unigrain with the support of the technical agency Arvalis, the company is developing R&D programs with its partners, in field crops (Corn, Wheat, Sunflower and Rapeseed ), focused on yield improvement, biotic and abiotic stresses and specialty grain compounds.

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.


Contact Information

Evogene:
Liat Cinamon
PR & IR Executive
E-mail: Email Contact
Tel: +972-8-931-1933

Biogemma:
Pascual Perez
Chief Executive Officer
E-mail: Email Contact
Tel: +33 1 55 34 94 00


Read at BioSpace.com


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