INDIANAPOLIS and ST. LOUIS
Sep 14, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS and ST. LOUIS, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Monsanto (NYSE: MON) and Dow AgroSciences LLC, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), have reached a cross-licensing agreement aimed at launching SmartStax™, the industry's first-ever eight-gene stacked combination in corn. The agreement is expected to create a new competitive standard for stacked-trait offerings and present an expanded growth opportunity for both companies' seed brands and traits businesses by the end of the decade.
"By bringing together the two companies that have developed and commercialized the trait technologies widely used in agriculture today, we can provide farmers an 'all-in-one' answer to demands for comprehensive yield protection from weed and insect threats," said Carl Casale, executive vice president of strategy and operations for Monsanto. "Farmers will have more product choices to optimize performance and protection, and that translates into a higher-yielding opportunity and a new growth proposition for their businesses and ours."
"The combination of these trait technologies signals the start of the next generation of products with improved plant protection and yield increases for the farmer," said Jerome Peribere, president and CEO of Dow AgroSciences. "These combinations provide tremendous value to the grower while better protecting the technology-bearing crops from insect and weed resistance."
Multi-Gene Product Set to Expand Business Opportunities for Both Companies
Under the agreement, the companies will create a novel seed offering that combines eight different herbicide tolerance and insect-protection genes into top-performing hybrids for the most complete control ever available. The product will include the companies' respective above- and below-ground insect protection systems, including Dow AgroSciences' Herculex® I and Herculex RW technologies; Monsanto's YieldGard VT Rootworm/RR2™ and YieldGard VT PRO™ technologies; and the two established weed control systems, Roundup Ready® and Liberty Link®.
Casale noted that the product will represent an expanded business opportunity for Monsanto's seed and traits business. "We believe this multi-stack will enhance the growth of our branded and licensed corn seed businesses and accelerate our penetration of the potential trait acreage opportunities," Casale said.
Dow AgroSciences' Peribere noted that the agreement accelerates Dow's plans to build a leading seed and biotechnology platform. "This agreement, along with other recent activities, shows Dow's continued commitment to the ag sector and the growth opportunities that it presents," added Peribere.
Under the agreement:
Multi-Gene Product Set to Expand Performance and Protection for Farmers
SmartStax will combine eight modes-of-action in multiple traits and provide season-long yield protection in three areas:
"SmartStax expands the insect and weed protection for farmers to help maximize their return on their investment," said Daniel R. Kittle, Ph.D., vice president, Research & Development for Dow AgroSciences. "We expect growers to rapidly adopt SmartStax as their primary trait package because this combination of traits provides unmatched insect protection and the greatest weed control options available, releasing the full yield potential of their production system. In addition, broad germplasm cross-licensing should generate new high-performing hybrids never before available to the market."
"This agreement allows us to incorporate traits which provide farmers with the most complete yield protection ever available in a single package," said Robb Fraley, Ph.D., chief technology officer for Monsanto. "It's a major advancement in corn trait technology that will help farmers maximize yields by getting the absolute best out of today's high-performing germplasm."
Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto have collaborated on initial proof of concept testing on SmartStax aimed at feasibility of trait integration and viability of enhanced performance. The results from these tests are on target and will be used to prepare regulatory submissions to support the combination of the novel insect-protection stacks. To date, every trait included in SmartStax is already either available commercially or in advanced stages of regulatory review. The companies will make regulatory submissions and anticipate SmartStax will be commercially available to U.S. farmers by the end of the decade.
In addition, the companies will work with regulatory authorities to evaluate how the multiple modes-of-action within SmartStax can offer a new comprehensive insect-protection tool and the companies will seek approval to reduce the established single trait refuge programs.
In conjunction with today's announcement, Monsanto and The Dow Chemical Company have posted presentations to their respective web sites which provide an overview of SmartStax and related agreements. Interested parties can access the Monsanto presentation online at: http://www.monsanto.com/investors and the Dow presentation online at: http://www.dow.com/financial/.
Audio with Ernesto Fajardo, Vice-President of U.S. Crop Production for Monsanto:
About Dow AgroSciences
Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is a top-tier agricultural company providing innovative crop protection, pest and vegetation management, seed, and agricultural biotechnology solutions to serve the world's growing population. Global sales for Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, are $3.4 billion. Learn more at http://www.dowagro.com/.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto is an agriculture company. The company is a leading provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto is committed to investing in products that can make a difference for its farmer customers and the land they farm. The company uses plant breeding, plant biotechnology and other applications of modern science to support its commitment to agriculture and the farmers that feed, clothe and fuel our growing world. For more information on Monsanto, see http://www.monsanto.com/.
Note to Editors:
Roundup Ready, SmartStax, YieldGard, YieldGard VT Rootworm/RR2 and YieldGard VT PRO are trademarks of Monsanto Technology, LLC.
DEKALB is registered trademark of DeKalb Genetics Corporation. Herculex is a registered trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Mycogen is a registered trademark of Mycogen Corporation. Liberty Link is a registered trademark owned by Bayer CropScience. Forward-Looking Statements:
This release contains "forward-looking statements" which reflect the companies' current expectations about future performance. These forward-looking statements rely on a number of assumptions and estimates which could be inaccurate and which are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could vary materially from those anticipated or expressed in any forward-looking statement made by the companies due to a number of factors, including without limitation technological uncertainties facing the companies continued competition in the companies' businesses; the companies' exposure to various contingencies, including those related to intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received, and public acceptance of biotechnology products; the success of the companies' research and development activities; compliance with regulations affecting manufacturing; and the effect of weather conditions, natural disasters and accidents on the agriculture business or facilities. Additional risks factors related to Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto are detailed in The Dow Chemical Company's and Monsanto's respective periodic filings with the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this release. The companies disclaim any obligation or intent to update the forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release, except as otherwise may be required by securities and other applicable laws.
CONTACT: media, Lee Quarles, +1-314-694-2330, or analysts, Scarlett
Foster, +1-314-694-8148, both of Monsanto; or media, Garry Hamlin,
+1-317-337-4799, or analysts, Kathy Fothergill, +1-989-636-1780, both of Dow
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