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Evogene, TMG Ink Pest-Resistant Soybean Development Deal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Israeli plant genetics firm Evogene has partnered with Tropical Melhoramento & Genetica (TMG) to develop non-genetically-modified pest-resistant soybeans using CRISPR genome editing, the companies said today.

Under the terms of the deal, Evogene will use its computational predictive biology platform to identify genome edits that can confer nematode resistance and introduce them into TMG's proprietary commercial soybean germplasm. Cambé, Brazil-based TMG — a plant breeding company — will then validate soybeans in greenhouse assays and field trials, and incorporate the most efficacious into its soybean breeding pipeline.

Both Evogene and TMG will each have certain commercialization rights to products resulting from the alliance in exchange for royalty payments to the other firm. Evogene will also receive an undisclosed upfront payment and stands to receive an unspecified development milestone payment.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

"This collaboration may allow us to bring to market non-GMO seed traits in soy, utilizing genome editing, and potentially avoiding regulatory hurdles," Arnon Heyman, Evogene vice president and general manager of ag-seeds, said in a statement. "Moreover, this is the first time that Evogene will be able to commercialize edited seeds independently, allowing us to approach relevant parties after a successful validation process."