A number of candidate genes were evaluated by both companies through a joint, multi-year research and development program, initiated in 2006. Positive genes validated in this stage will be further evaluated and integrated by Biogemma through its corn yield and drought development pipeline.
As a result of the achievement of this milestone, Biogemma maintains worldwide exclusive commercialization rights for corn to certain Evogene's discovered yield and drought tolerance genes.
"Today's announcement marks the next step in our collaboration with Evogene. This is an important milestone on the development of improved maize varieties incorporating Evogene's genes for yield and drought tolerance," stated Pascual Perez, Biogemma's CEO.
"The additional results obtained this summer across our drought field evaluation network provided further evidence of the role of these genes. We are excited by the opportunities that these results offer us to develop new corn varieties with improved performance under drought conditions," said Christophe Sallaud, Head of the Transgenesis Department of Biogemma.
"We are delighted by Biogemma's decision to advance Evogene's yield and drought tolerance trait to the next phase of development in its corn pipeline. Biogemma is a leading crop biotechnology company and we are very pleased to be collaborating with the company by providing our trait technology for such an important crop," stated Ofer Haviv, Evogene's President and CEO. "Furthermore, in addition to the obvious importance of this event with respect to our collaboration with Biogemma, this progress further validates Evogene's plant genomics technologies, which are resulting in the discovery of novel genes to serve as attractive leads for the improvement of traits in major food crops."