Dow AgroSciences, Australia’s Victoria DEPI expand relationship

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Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) of the State of Victoria, announced several significant steps the organizations are taking together to advance science for agriculture. Dow AgroSciences has worked with DEPI through its commercial arm - Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd. (AVS) - to apply the company’s Exzact Precision Technology Platform to improve the performance of canola varieties and is adding a new project. Collaborators since 2009, the organizations are now planning to enter into a seventh project together.

The project builds on previous work from the collaboration, and is using the Exzact Precision Genome Editing Technology Platform to continue developing new varieties of canola with enhanced performance designed to benefit farmers in Australia and around the world. This new research project will be based at DEPI’s AgriBio research facilities in Bundoora.

In addition, AVS has entered into a major Research License Agreement with Dow AgroSciences to conduct research using the company’s proprietary Exzact Precision Genome Editing Technology Platform to enhance the genetics of crops of importance to Australian primary producers.

“Collaboration is essential to advance agriculture, and our continued efforts with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries illustrate the power of our organizations working together to turn ideas into reality for farmers,” said Tim Hassinger, President and CEO, Dow AgroSciences. “In fact, we have advanced the Exzact Precision Technology Platform from capability building to a platform technology we use to develop new products. We are delighted to continue this outstanding relationship with scientists at DEPI to advance science and provide solutions that will play a role in moving agriculture forward.”

Both the new project and the license agreement focus on precision genome editing technologies using Exzact, which Dow AgroSciences has developed under an exclusive license and collaboration agreement in plants with Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. The Exzact Precision Technology Platform accelerates the creation of new crop varieties and lines. An additional application of the Exzact platform is the capability to develop novel gene combinations in commercial varieties that will rapidly allow the production of crops with improved performance.

“We see great benefit and potential in collaborating with leading research organisations like Dow AgroSciences,” said Professor German Spangenberg, DEPI’s executive director, Biosciences Research and director of AgriBio. “DEPI’s crop innovation partnership with Dow AgroSciences has already achieved major science milestones. It exemplifies the strong focus on targeted research and development within DEPI, supporting a profitable growth agenda for Victoria’s food and fibre sector.”

Financial details of this transaction were not disclosed.

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