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DuPont and Devgen Extend Research Collaboration on Pest Resistance Solutions


May 18, 2006

Research focused on multi-billion dollar nematode challenge for crops, including soybeans.

WILMINGTON, Del., and GHENT, Belgium, –– DuPont, through its subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., and Devgen today announced the extension of a research collaboration to develop superior crop varieties with innate resistance to plant pests, such as plant parasitic nematodes, which are a leading pest impacting soybean yields.
“We are happy that the progress in the research collaboration with DuPont has resulted in a continuation of our joint efforts to develop novel and environmentally friendly traits to control nematode infestation of crop plants,” said Thierry Bogaert, Devgen chief executive officer.
Nematodes are a significant pest in crops like soybeans, which remains as the primary focus of the extended collaboration. The damage caused by these soil borne organisms is estimated to be $80 billion worldwide. Root damage causes poor crop growth, which ultimately reduces crop yields and grain quality.

A leading corn and soybean provider, Pioneer pursues a range of broad-based molecular, genetic and agronomic approaches to develop high-yielding crop varieties with improved resistances to key pests and environmental stresses for growers worldwide.
“The goal of this collaboration is to enhance seed performance for the benefit of our customers,” said Bill Niebur, DuPont vice president, Crop Genetics Research & Development. “The combination of Devgen’s technology with Pioneer’s superior germplasm and biotech trait development programs may lead to nematode resistant crop varieties with improved yields and grain quality.”

Through the collaboration, Devgen uses its patented technology to identify and express genes that can be used to control nematode pests in crop plants. Through its research program, Pioneer integrates the traits with its elite germplasm to create nematode resistant crop varieties with increased yield and enhanced value for customers. Under the agreement, Devgen receives research payments and is eligible for milestones and royalties.

Devgen (Euronext Brussels: DEVG) is an innovator in biotechnology focused on discovering, developing and commercializing:

* a novel generation of biotech products to protect a wide spectrum of crops from damage incurred from pests;
* safer and more environmentally friendly agro-chemical products to protect crops from damage
inflicted by plant parasitic nematodes;
* novel therapeutic concepts and preclinical drug candidates for treatment of metabolic disease (diabetes, obesity, arrhythmia).

Each of these solutions is developed on a platform of in-house designed research, development programs and technologies. Devgen has partnerships with industry leaders in biotechnology.

Incorporated in 1997, Devgen has offices in Ghent (Belgium) and Singapore, with a total work force of over 100 people.

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, is the world’s leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors.


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