Delta and Pine Land Company (D&PL) and Syngenta announced today that D&PL has acquired licenses from Syngenta to deliver novel biotechnology products to cotton growers worldwide.
Under the agreements with Syngenta, D&PL obtains global licenses to develop and commercialize Syngentaâ€™s innovative insect resistance traits, as well as licenses to a wide range of other Syngenta enabling technologies that may be useful in developing new valuable technologies for use in cottonseed and soybean seed.
Tom Jagodinski, D&PL President and Chief Executive Officer, says, "This agreement with Syngenta represents a substantial move forward within our technology strategy to provide increased value to farmers and to bring to farmers technology from an additional source. Cotton producers count on D&PL genetics, and we have taken several steps in recent years to ensure our varieties are paired with the best technologies.
"For some time, we have been working with Syngenta on a research basis and the potential of their technology to farmers and D&PL is clear," he adds. "We are very pleased to be able to expand our relationship to offer Syngentaâ€™s excellent technology to our customers."
In return for the licenses, D&PL will pay Syngenta approximately $47 million in installments. Upon commercialization of products containing Syngenta traits, D&PL will receive 70% of the net licensing revenues related to the insect resistant traits covered by the agreements.
The first product to be commercialized under the agreements will be VipCot, a novel insect control trait. Depending on the timing of regulatory approval, D&PL expects to have limited quantities of seed available as early as 2006. Subsequent varieties are expected to contain VipCot stacked with a herbicide tolerant trait and thereafter with another insect resistant gene.
Randy Dismuke, D&PL Senior Vice President for the U.S. business, says, "Farmers have indicated a clear interest in elite genetics teamed with top-performing technologies. According to USDA data in 2003, the percentage of cotton acreage planted to transgenics was 76%, a number that has grown consistently since our introduction of transgenic cotton in 1996.
"The largest growth area in the past few years has been in stacked varieties," Dismuke adds. "By increasing the number of technologies available to us, we can ensure our ability to offer cotton producers the traits and the combinations of traits they find most beneficial on their farms."
D&PLâ€™s technology strategy is designed to offer a variety of technologies from multiple sources to farmers in the near-term and into the future.
D&PLâ€™s commercial varieties currently contain Monsantoâ€™s Bollgard, Bollgard II and Roundup Ready traits. In addition, D&PL has incorporated Monsantoâ€™s Roundup Ready Flex technology and Syngentaâ€™s VipCot traits into its research and testing programs.
D&PL also continues to develop insect resistance, herbicide tolerant and nematode resistance traits for cotton through its joint venture with Verdia (now owned by DuPont).