Bayer CropScience and FuturaGene PLC, London, have entered into a license agreement for a drought tolerance technology that 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.
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% 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."