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Syngenta and Athenix in R&D Partnership for Advanced Biotechnology Corn Insect and Soybean Nematode Control Traits

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Syngenta has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Athenix Corp. for the discovery of novel corn insect and soybean cyst nematode resistance genes.

Athenix is a US biotechnology company that develops products and technologies for agricultural and sustainable industrial applications. The agreement will allow Syngenta access to gene leads from which to develop advanced generation corn and soybean products.

Under the agreement, Athenix will screen its extensive microbial strain collection for the identification and initial development of novel gene leads in the targeted areas of corn rootworm, European corn borer, broad lepidopteran, and soybean cyst nematode control. The resultant gene leads will be provided to Syngenta for further development.

Syngenta will have exclusive global ownership on any corn and soybean transformation events developed using Athenix lead genes, excluding Australia and New Zealand. Athenix may further license gene leads it generates in the discovery process.

"The agreement with Athenix will extend Syngenta's strategy of offering growers multiple modes of action against a range of key pests in corn and soybeans," said David Lawrence, Syngenta Head of Global Research and Development.

"Athenix and Syngenta have proven track records in bringing traits to market, and this timely and important collaboration will help accelerate Syngenta's introduction of new technologies to unlock crop productivity," Lawrence added.

"We are pleased to work with a global agribusiness leader such as Syngenta to help bring our technical capabilities to commercialization," said Mike Koziel, Chief Executive Officer for Athenix. "This research and subsequent product offerings are important steps to providing growers and companies with more pest management choices."

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.