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Monsanto Agrees to Cross-Licensing Deal With Dow

By Rich Duprey - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:28PM

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Chemical specialists team up to further genetically modify corn to fight weeds and insects.

In an effort to create the next generation of advanced weed and insect control technology in corn, Monsanto (MON) and Dow Chemical (DOW) have agreed to cross-license technology. Resulting products will be competitively sold by the company that develops them.

Monsanto will license Dow's new Enlist Weed Control System herbicide-tolerant trait for use in field corn while Dow's AgroSciences division will license Monsanto's Corn Rootworm III, a third-generation corn rootworm technology that is presently under development and offers a new mode of action for rootworm control.

The agreement announced Thursday provides an opportunity for next-generation products to build upon the current SmartStax platform for stacked-trait corn offerings. The companies contend stacked trait products are particularly valuable for combating pest resistance and preserving trait durability.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Dow AgroSciences president and CEO Antonio Galindez was quoted in the press release as saying, "This agreement takes the outstanding value offered by SmartStax technology to a new level, allowing growers increased flexibility with highly effective new modes of action for weed and insect management. Adding advanced new traits to SmartStax ... delivers on our company's business objective of providing better solutions for the growing world."

Brett Begemann, Monsanto's president and chief commercial officer, added, "We continue to look for additional modes of action that offer benefit to our farmer customers and complement our existing offerings while ensuring the sustainability and durability of the Roundup Ready system."

Monsanto is the first licensee of the Enlist trait in corn. The companies noted that the agreement paves the way for U.S. introduction (pending regulatory approvals) of new, next-generation SmartStax products by the end of the decade.

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