Insect Protection Collaboration
The parties announced a new, multi-year insect protection gene discovery collaboration. The program combines the experience of Pioneer researchers in characterizing novel insect actives and trait development with Hexima's expertise in biochemistry and insect biology. The collaboration gives Pioneer exclusive rights for the commercial development of traits using genes discovered under the program. The global market for transgenic insect protection traits was estimated at US$6.5B in 2012.
Pioneer has taken a multi-pronged approach in its research program, leveraging both proprietary science and collaborations, to develop new modes of action against key insect pests. This agreement provides Pioneer with another source of insect protection leads for evaluation in its research program.
"We are developing multiple technologies to create new insect protection solutions for growers," said Gusui Wu, DuPont Pioneer senior research director. "Our collaboration with Hexima supports this strategy and allows us to pursue more options. Hexima's excellent biochemical expertise combined with their access to Southern Hemisphere biodiversity represents a unique opportunity to discover new classes of insect actives."
Multi-Gene Expression Vehicle (MGEV) License
As part of its alliance with Hexima, Pioneer also has secured a license to Hexima's Multi-Gene Expression Vehicle (MGEV) technology. The MGEV technology enables the delivery of several proteins to a plant from a single transformation event. Pioneer will have the ability to utilize the MGEV technology with leads coming from the Hexima collaboration, as well as under its own independent programs. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
Chairman Ross Dobinson commented that, "The instigation of a new, fully funded insect program reflects DuPont's confidence in the outstanding technical achievements of Hexima's scientists in our previous work. We look forward to continuing our already productive relationship with DuPont Pioneer."
The insect program will be Hexima's second largest research effort behind the disease resistance program, also in collaboration with Pioneer.