DuPont and Syngenta Form Joint Venture to Facilitate The Out-Licensing of Seed Genetics and Biotech Traits
WILMINGTON, Del., and BASEL, Switzerland, April 10, 2006, DuPont and Syngenta today announced in Chicago, Illinois, the formation of a joint venture and licensing agreements that will bring expanded choice to North American farmers through broader access to the companies’ proprietary corn and soybean genetics and biotechnology traits.
Syngenta Seeds, Inc., and DuPont subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., will form the seed industry’s first 50/50 joint venture to out-license genetics to U.S. and Canadian seed companies, with potential to expand worldwide.
The two companies also agree to cross-license certain corn and soybean traits that each company will market independently under their own seed brands. The agreement includes rights for Syngenta to market the new Optimum™ GAT™ herbicide tolerant trait developed by DuPont.
“This is outstanding news for growers and the seed industry because it will make available a new and unique pool of corn and soybean traits and genetics from both companies’ research efforts. As a result, North American growers will have access to broader product choices and technologies,” said Mike Mack, Chief Operating Officer of Syngenta Seeds.
The joint venture, GreenLeaf Genetics LLC, will offer corn and soybean breeding material from both DuPont and Syngenta. It will also facilitate the licensing of biotech traits by both companies. While Syngenta originally launched GreenLeaf Genetics as a traits and genetics licensing business in 2004, DuPont will, for the first time, provide other seed companies targeted access to the world’s largest plant genetics library at Pioneer.
“The joint venture and the licensing agreements bring together the strength of two industry leaders to deliver new technologies to the market more quickly,” said Dean Oestreich, DuPont Vice President, General Manager and Pioneer President. “We are excited about making the results of our research investments in both genetics and traits available to more farmers, sooner.”
GreenLeaf Genetics will be based in Omaha, Nebraska, and led by Ron Wulfkuhle, the current head of Syngenta’s GreenLeaf Genetics business. “We are ready to coordinate access to all the inbred lines, hybrids and traits needed for customers to feed their own breeding programs”, Wulfkuhle said.
Through the cross-license agreements:
* Syngenta receives a global license to the Optimum™ GAT™ trait, a DuPont proprietary glyphosate and ALS chemistry tolerant trait for both soybeans and corn to be marketed in conjunction with its Agrisure™ brand of traits. The new trait will give farmers expanded weed control options and help optimize yield. U.S. registration for the Optimum™ GAT™ trait is expected as early as 2009.
* DuPont receives a global license to Syngenta’s insect resistance technology for European corn borer, corn rootworm and broad lepidopteran control as it develops the next generation of insect traits.
This is the second business agreement announced this year between Syngenta and DuPont agriculture businesses. In February, the two companies announced an agreement to broaden each company’s crop protection product offer. Syngenta acquired an exclusive worldwide license to develop DuPont’s new insecticide Rynaxypyr™ in mixtures with its own leading insect control products. DuPont Crop Protection acquired worldwide rights to Syngenta’s strobilurin fungicide picoxystrobin, sold as Acanto®, including access to companion products used in mixtures.
Syngenta is a world-leading agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. The company is a leader in crop protection, and ranks third in the high-value commercial seeds market. Sales in 2005 were approximately $8.1 billion. Syngenta employs more than 19,000 people in over 90 countries. Syngenta is listed on the Swiss stock exchange (SYNN) and in New York (SYT). Further information is available at www.syngenta.com.
DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a subsidiary of DuPont, which has the world’s leading market share in corn and soybean seed. Further information is available at www.dupont.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as ‘expect’, ‘would’, ‘will’, ‘potential’, ‘plans’, ‘prospects’, ‘estimated’, ‘aiming’, ‘on track’ and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. We refer you to DuPont and Syngenta publicly available filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks and uncertainties. DuPont and Syngenta assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors. This document does not constitute, or form part of, any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any solicitation of any offer, to purchase or subscribe for any ordinary shares in DuPont, Syngenta AG, or Syngenta ADSs, nor shall it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract therefore.
Agrisure™, and Acanto® are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.
Optimum™ GAT™ are trademarks of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
Rynaxypyr™ is a trademark of DuPont Crop Protection.
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