Bayer CropScience AG Ends Myconate Deal with Plant Health Care

Published: Dec 18, 2008

Dec 18 (Reuters) - Plant Health Care Plc said on Thursday that Bayer CropScience AG (BAYG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) terminated an agreement to develop seed treatments based on Plant Health Care's Myconate technology, sending shares of the British natural plant products company down 24 percent.

Plant Health Care said it would receive no further payments from Bayer CropScience in 2009, but added it was confident that its full-year revenue and profit would be in line with market estimates.

Under the agreement, signed in January 2007, Plant Health Care was to receive an undisclosed up-front payment, two milestone payments over a two-year period, depending on progress, and supply payments.

Myconate, derived from natural sources, is a soil amendment that helps crops like corn and soybeans produce better yields, especially under adverse environmental conditions.

Separately, Plant Health Care said it was in talks with a number of parties including major agrichemical companies on possible collaboration to further develop and commercialise Myconate, and it expected to conclude another significant development deal in 2009.

In September, Bayer CropScience announced a long-term licence agreement to use Plant Health Care's harpin genes in brassica oilseeds, a key ingredient in vegetable oils.

Plant Health Care said on Tuesday it had agreed with U.S. biotech company Monsanto Co (MON.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on the commercialisation of a harpin-based seed treatment for row crops and vegetables.

At 0844 GMT, Plant Health Care shares were down 24 percent at 168 pence. (Reporting by Kumar Alagappan in Bangalore; Editing by Mike Miller)

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