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Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. (SBI) (SYT) and Evogene Ltd. to Collaborate on Soybean Nematode Resistance


6/26/2009 9:55:42 AM

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Evogene, Ltd., focusing on identifying plant genes related to soybean nematode resistance. Under the agreement, Syngenta will receive exclusive licensing rights to candidate genes discovered by Evogene for use in soybean.

Soybean nematode is a soil parasite which attacks the roots of developing plants, and is one of the most devastating and yield limiting pests of soybean. Soybean growers may lose more than 20 percent of their yield to this pest, while defenses against it are limited. It is estimated that soybean nematode causes losses in the United States alone exceeding one billion dollars annually.

"Syngenta is a leader in advanced breeding to bring our grower customers the best choices to protect yield against soybean pests," stated Roger Kemble, Head Syngenta Crop Genetics Research. "This collaboration complements our in-house trait discovery program, creating new sources of genes for biotech traits to strengthen our current offering."

Under this agreement, Evogene will provide Syngenta with candidate genes discovered by Evogene's proprietary computational gene discovery technology, the 'ATHLETE'. Syngenta will evaluate candidate genes in its soybean research and development program. Syngenta may commercialize improved soybean seeds developed through this collaboration.

"We are very pleased by this collaboration with Syngenta and we look forward to working with the Syngenta team on this key trait for soybean," stated Ofer Haviv, Evogene's President and CEO. "Plant pest protection traits, such as nematode resistance, have a strong impact on farm productivity hence Evogene intends to expand use of its predictive technologies for gene discovery in this field," Mr. Haviv concluded.

Specific details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 24,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us please go to www.syngenta.com.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as 'expect', 'would', 'will', 'potential', 'plans', 'prospects', 'estimated', 'aiming', 'on track' and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. We refer you to Syngenta's publicly available filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks and uncertainties. Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors. This document does not constitute, or form part of, any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any solicitation of any offer, to purchase or subscribe for any ordinary shares in Syngenta AG, or Syngenta ADSs, nor shall it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract therefore.

CONTACT: Jane Bachmann of Syngenta, +1-919-531-8538

Web site: http://www.syngenta.com/


Read at BioSpace.com

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