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Bayer CropScience and FuturaGene sign license agreement for drought tolerance technology in cotton


Further strengthening of cotton research

Monheim, Bayer CropScience and FuturaGene PLC, London, have entered into a license agreement for a drought tolerance technology. The agreement grants Bayer CropScience exclusive worldwide rights to utilize a FuturaGene drought tolerance technology in cotton. FuturaGene will receive an upfront license fee, followed by development milestone payments and trait royalties on sales of cotton seeds incorporating this technology. Further financial details were not disclosed.

The technology licensed to Bayer is intended to protect the yield of cotton plants when they are subjected to drought. Drought is one of the principal environmental limits of crop yield as it hampers the cultivation of crops on more than 40 percent of the earth’s land surface, posing a serious threat to global agricultural production and food supplies.

“We’re pleased to be working with FuturaGene as a partner in developing next generation drought tolerance in cotton,” said Dr. Linda Trolinder, Global Cotton R&D Manager in the BioScience business group of Bayer CropScience. “Their technology fits well with our strategy to explore multiple approaches to drought tolerance in order to bring the most effective, high-performance trait solutions to market to help farmers tackle this global challenge.”

Dr. Stanley Hirsch, CEO at FuturaGene, added: “Combining our drought tolerance technology with Bayer’s development and marketing capabilities creates a huge benefit for both companies as well as to farmers. This important agreement fits precisely with our development strategy – to focus on poplar and eucalyptus for the paper and pulp and biomass markets whilst licensing our leading gene technologies to global operators for other crops.”

About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 6.4 billion (2008), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of more than 18,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:

About Futuragene PLC
FuturaGene is a leader in plant genetic research and development for the global forestry, biofuel, and agricultural markets. The Group develops sustainable, ecologically sound technology to meet the ever increasing demands for fiber, fuel and food crops in the face of declining and deteriorating land and water resources. FuturaGene aims to be the leading crop technology company for biomass, second generation biofuel and biopower, through two main technology platforms: Cell Wall Modification, which helps crops grow faster, enhancing yield and processability; and abiotic stress tolerance which enables plants to grow in harsh, dry, salty environments or protects yield when plants are stressed by these factors. The Group’s most advanced technologies are for yield improvement in sustainable industrial forestry. The Group has established broad applications of its technology in key crops including eucalyptus, poplar, alfalfa and corn. Further information is available at

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Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.


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