Monsanto’s Next Breakthrough May Have Been Developed for the Medical World

Monsanto announced today the creation of a new company, Preceres LLC., which hopes to apply successful drug delivery technologies originally created for medical applications towards the development of agriculture biologicals.

Mar 24, 2014 at 1:09PM

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) will be working in collaboration with the newly created Preceres LLC. Preceres is a company that looks to utilize drug delivery technologies for agricultural applications, and partnership with Monsanto will help to make the transition from medicine to agriculture much more feasible.

The tie between medicine and agriculture
Preceres was founded by two MIT researchers with backgrounds in Chemical Engineering. Both Dr. David Anderson and Dr. Arturo Vegas had focused their work at MIT to developing biomaterials for drug delivery for medical applications.

The core technology being developed by these researchers for medical applications may not be too far off from pesticide delivery applications valuable for Monsanto. The ease of the transition from medicine to agriculture may hinge on two major factors that Preceres' founders may already have under control.

The first major factor already being addressed is that of scale. Dr. Anderson's research expands beyond the creation of novel delivery molecules interesting only from the academic research point of view into development of larger scale syntheses processes that may enable the technology to better transition both to a feasible scale for medical applications as well as to the large scale necessary for utilization by Monsanto. The demonstrated ability to develop "methods allowing rapid synthesis, formulation, analysis, and biological testing of large libraries of biomaterials" for drug delivery applications should allow Preceres researchers to develop and test a variety of delivery agents to support the development of innovative biological solutions for farmers.

The second key in the process will be confirming the applicability of the processes beyond the medical setting, which will be better enabled through the cooperation of Monsanto and Preceres. According to Steve Padgette, Monsanto R&D investment strategy lead, the collaboration will enable "the potential to co-create products that are very precise and specific in how they work, which is consistent with our vision to create products that enable our customers to produce more in an environmentally sustainable way."

Environmental sustainability may mean, among other things, enabling smaller and fewer applications of pesticides, in line with Monsanto's development of their BioDirect Technology. The use of agricultural biologicals (treatments that are more biological than chemical in nature) in place of or to complement the use of traditional agricultural chemicals may help address the growing consumer disdain for foods heavily treated with chemical pesticides. Combining Monsanto's developments in agricultural biologicals with specific delivery technologies developed by Preceres will enable more precise and selective targeting of specific pests during spray applications, thus potentially reducing the broader environmental and human health impacts.

The takeaway
Combining resources from the nation's top chemical engineering school with technologies and resources already developed by the nation's dominant agricultural technology company will yield results. With technology licensed from MIT, Preceres' development of innovative biological solutions for farmers may make a perfect match with Monsanto's research and development of agricultural biologicals. When this synergistic approach yields results, both farmers and investors will benefit. 

Boost your 2014 returns with The Motley Fool's top stock
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

 

Shamus Funk has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers