BASF, one of the world’s leading chemical companies, and Evogene Ltd., a leading biotechnology company developing novel products for life science markets, announced a new collaboration focusing on the development of novel insecticides based on new binding areas (Site-of-Action or ‘SoA’) on key insecticidal target proteins. The parties also announced that the collaboration achieved its first project milestone, with the joint nomination of a set of novel SoAs, discovered by Evogene that will advance to the discovery phase of relevant bioactive compounds.
In the initial phase of the collaboration, using their strong background in computational methods, Evogene has developed a smart process to identify potential novel compounds that act on new proteins and binding sites.
“Insecticides are essential for controlling insect damage and infestations that affect public health and increase the quality and quantity of crops. I am excited that we have achieved our first milestone towards the discovery and development of new insecticides,” said Eran Kosover, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Ag-Chemicals division at Evogene Ltd. “This marks an important step in establishing Evogene’s Ag-Chemicals division entry into Insecticides, and an important extension of our relationship with BASF, a world leader in agricultural solutions.”
“Finding effective chemistries that have increased selectivity between harmful insects and non-target species is one of the main innovation drivers in our industry,” said Harold Bastiaans, Vice President Global R&D Insecticides, BASF Crop Protection. “Evogene’s technology platform, in combination with our leading expertise in research and development of new active ingredients, will allow us to speed up the discovery of novel, effective and safe solutions for our customers.”
In the next phase of this collaboration, Evogene will utilize its Computational Predictive Biology (CPB) platform for the discovery of the relevant chemistry to address the new SoAs. Compounds discovered by Evogene will then enter BASF’s insecticide discovery platform for insect efficacy screening and testing to determine the chemistry’s ability to modulate the respective target proteins.
Ofer Haviv, Evogene’s President and CEO stated: “We are very proud to announce this additional collaboration with BASF. We believe this collaboration has the potential to bring to market new insecticides that will provide much needed solutions for farmers. Furthermore, this collaboration and the results achieved demonstrate the predictive capabilities of Evogene’s CPB platform. We are confident that this collaboration will lead to new products for a sustainable future.”
The financial terms of the collaboration have not been disclosed.