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Ceres, Genset Sign Collaborative Agreement In Agricultural Genomics

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LOS ANGELES--Ceres, an agricultural genomics company here, has agreed to collaborate with French genomics firm Genset in the area of agricultural genetics. The partnership gives Ceres an exclusive license to use some of Genset's mapping, sequencing, and bioinformatics technologies. In addition, Ceres will establish independent operations in Evry, France, adjacent to Genset's Genomics Research Center, to facilitate the alliance.

Genset will retain exclusive rights to all discoveries generated by the collaboration that have applications in human health, and has acquired a 20 percent equity stake in Ceres. In addition, the French firm will receive service fees over the term of the agreement and acquire more equity upon reaching certain milestones. Pascal Brandys, Genset's chairman and CEO, has also joined Ceres's Board of Directors.

"This is an excellent opportunity to apply Genset's genomics expertise to a new and very large commercial area," Brandys remarked. "The alliance will provide an additional revenue stream without detracting from our principle business of providing genomics solutions to our pharmaceutical partners."

Ceres, led by Walter De Logi, is funded by Oxford Bioscience Partners. The company is focused on assembling and applying a broad-based platform of plant genomics technologies.

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