Chromatin Inc. and Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) today announced they have entered into a collaborative agreement to evaluate and develop Chromatin's proprietary gene- stacking technology for use in Monsanto's core research crops.
Under the agreement, Monsanto obtains non-exclusive rights to use Chromatin's mini-chromosome stacking technology in corn, cotton, soybeans, and canola. Chromatin retains the right to broadly license its enabling technology so that other companies and third parties can benefit from this technology as well.
Monsanto and Chromatin scientists will carry out a three-year joint research program that may be extended, as necessary, to complete the technology development. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"Monsanto is a leading agricultural biotechnology company. Their crop and trait development capabilities make them an ideal partner for advancing Chromatin's gene stacking technology," said Daphne Preuss, Chromatin's Chief Scientific Officer and President.
"Monsanto and Chromatin structured this non-exclusive partnership to facilitate the development of Chromatin's technology for commercial and humanitarian uses," Preuss said. "Chromatin is pleased to partner with a company that shares its goal of broadly expanding mini-chromosome capabilities."
Chromatin's mini-chromosome technology offers one way to stack multiple value-added traits by using a single heritable piece of the plant's own DNA to deliver several genes. Monsanto will evaluate Chromatin's stacking technology for use in conjunction with its existing technologies to explore more efficient methods of stacking traits.
"Farmers are increasingly turning to stacked trait technologies so that they can get more benefits out of a single seed," said Robert T. Fraley, Ph.D., Monsanto executive vice president and chief technology officer. "Chromatin's expertise in gene stacking technology will be an important resource as we look to deliver a broader variety of both input traits such as insect and weed control and beneficial consumer traits to improve nutrition of stacked trait options to our farmer customers."
"We want farmers to have access to all of our new traits in the best available germplasm -- along with the weed and insect protection they enjoy today," Fraley said. "By coupling Chromatin's unique technology with our in-house resources, we believe we'll be able to deliver these high-value trait stacks faster and more efficiently in the future."
Chromatin is a privately-held company that pioneered the development of plant mini-chromosomes. Its patented gene stacking technology can be used in any plant to accelerate product pipelines, reduce production costs, and enable novel plant-based products. Chromatin's mini-chromosome technology can be used to deliver genes that benefit the agricultural, nutritional, energy, pharmaceutical, and chemical sectors. For additional information, visit http://www.chromatininc.com/.
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. For more information, please visit: http://www.monsanto.com/.