Monsanto Enters Genome Editing Tech Licensing Agreement

September 23, 2016

1 Min Read
Monsanto Enters Genome Editing Tech Licensing Agreement
Monsanto licensed genome editing technology to improve plant hybrids and varieties. Image courtesy of the US EPA

Monsanto, the world’s largest provider of seeds, announced Thursday that it has signed an agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University's Broad Institute to license the use of CRISPR-Cas genome editing technology for agricultural uses.

The Broad Institute owns several U.S. patents on CRISPR-Cas technology, which it licenses to companies like Monsanto. In this case, the licensing partnership aims to use the technology to help improve agricultural crops. Monsanto has engaged in genome-editing activities for some time.

“The license to CRISPR-Cas from the Broad Institute provides access to an exciting tool for our growing body of genome-editing research,” Monsanto’s biotechnology lead, Tom Adams, said in a press release. “Genome-editing technology is complementary to our on-going discovery research and provides an incredible resource to further unlock our world-leading germplasm and genome libraries.”

The institute agreed to a global non-exclusive license for applications of its technology in agriculture. The financial terms were not disclosed.

“Genome-editing techniques present precise ways to dramatically improve the scale and discovery efficiency of new research that can improve human health and global agriculture,” said Issi Rozen, the Broad Institute’s chief business officer, in the release. “We are encouraged to see these tools being used to help deliver responsible solutions to help farmers meet the demands of our growing population.”

Monsanto aims to develop “better hybrids and varieties more efficiently” with the institute’s technology by editing the DNA of plant cells. 

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