Seed World

Monsanto and TargetGene Collaborate on Gene-Editing Technology


Monsanto Company and TargetGene Biotechnologies LTD, a pioneer in genome-editing technologies, have announced a license agreement to advance the application of the company’s proprietary techniques in global agriculture. TargetGene is an innovative genome-editing company using RNA-guided gene-editing techniques.
Under the agreement, Monsanto has been granted an exclusive license to TargetGene’s novel and proprietary “T∙GEE” (Genome Editing Engine) platform to deliver continuous improvements in agriculture. Monsanto has also established an equity position in the private Israel-based company. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“TargetGene is pleased to be working with Monsanto to enable the next generation of agricultural innovation through the application of our genome-editing technology,” said Dr. Yoel Shiboleth, chief executive officer of TargetGene. “In a time of increasing environmental challenges and a growing global population to feed, this science has never been more important.”
“TargetGene has uniquely positioned itself to develop precision-editing techniques that can improve a broad range of solutions that help growers around the world deliver better harvests,” said Tom Adams, biotechnology lead for Monsanto. “Monsanto has conducted extensive research with various gene-editing approaches for years, and we believe access to TargetGene’s technology will help drive further precision and efficiency within the company’s robust plant breeding and biotechnology pipelines.”
The companies noted that gene-editing technology and the broad array of emerging gene-editing techniques represent a key scientific tool that can deliver breakthroughs in agriculture. The science is the biological equivalent to the “search and replace” function in computer word-processors. Monsanto believes that genome-editing technologies will enable plant breeders to deliver better hybrids and varieties more efficiently, as well as offer plant scientists additional resources to provide new improvements in plant biotechnology.