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Monsanto, Atlas to Partner on Investments in Genomics, Other Life Science Technologies

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Monsanto and Atlas Venture today announced a collaboration to explore investment opportunities in early-stage life sciences technology firms.

The firms will collaborate to identify strategic investments in technology areas within agriculture "to support and complement Monsanto's interests and potential growth areas, including genomics, informatics, and biology," the companies said in a statement. The deal provides Atlas access to technology capabilities and "insight that bring a unique perspective to its investment process," they added.

Ankhit Mahadevia, a principal with Cambridge, Mass.-based Atlas, told GenomeWeb Daily News that his firm and Monsanto are interested in a broad range of genomics tools, including next-generation sequencing, as well as new sample preparation tools.

In terms of research areas of interest, he said, "It's going to be areas where there's going to be a nice overlap between what we do in life sciences and what they do in agricultural applications."

Among the firms in which Atlas has invested are Decode Genetics, Molecular Biometrics, and Nimbus Discovery.

Both Mahadevia and a spokesperson for Monsanto declined to disclose the financial terms of the multi-year deal.

Steve Padgette, Monstanto's R&D investment strategy lead, said in the firms' statement, "Our collaboration with Atlas will provide a great opportunity for us to get an early look at promising new technologies that could potentially be introduced into our biotechnology, breeding, and agronomic practices work to drive yields even further."

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