RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. and ST. LOUIS, June 20 — Athenix Corp. and Monsanto Company today announced they have entered into a three-year research collaboration for insect control on
a key class of insects that affects a number of Monsanto’s major crops of interest. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to work with the market leader in crop genetics to bring our technical capabilities to commercialization,” said Mike Koziel, chief executive officer for Athenix.
“Working with Monsanto to discover novel genes for controlling insect pests increases options for farmers and allows Athenix to demonstrate the power of its integrated discovery platforms for
new biotech traits,” said Nick Duck, vice president of research at Athenix.
Athenix will apply its expertise in microbial screening and genomics to facilitate gene discovery intended to help protect crops such as cotton, soybeans and corn against a common class of
insects known as Hemipterans. Hemipteran insects include Lygus, a pest of cotton, and stinkbug, a pest of soybean.
“This collaboration will work to offer an essential benefit to our farmer customers by providing insect protection in crops such as corn, cotton and soybeans against the piercing and sucking
insects. Insect tolerant crops allow growers to spray less pesticide, making their operations more efficient and at the same time stewarding the environment,” said Robert T. Fraley, Ph.D.,
Monsanto executive vice president and chief technology officer. “We’re excited to collaborate with Athenix to help broaden grower’s options for insect control.”