Athenix Lends Monsanto a Hand With Insect Control

The two companies enter a three-year research collaboration for insect control.

Published on: Jun 20, 2007

Athenix Corp. and Monsanto Company today announced they have entered into a three-year research collaboration for insect control on a key class of insects that affects a number of Monsanto's major crops of interest. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Working with Monsanto to discover novel genes for controlling insect pests increases options for farmers and allows Athenix to demonstrate the power of its integrated discovery platforms for new biotech traits," said Nick Duck, vice president of research at Athenix.

Athenix will apply its expertise in microbial screening and genomics to facilitate gene discovery intended to help protect crops such as cotton, soybeans and corn against a common class of insects known as Hemipterans. Hemipteran insects include Lygus, a pest of cotton, and stinkbug, a pest of soybean.

"This collaboration will work to offer an essential benefit to our farmer customers by providing insect protection in crops such as corn, cotton and soybeans against the piercing and sucking insects. Insect tolerant crops allow growers to spray less pesticide, making their operations more efficient and at the same time stewarding the environment," says Robert T. Fraley, Monsanto executive vice president and chief technology officer.