FMC Corporation announced that it has built a world-class platform to serve the fast-growing biological crop protection market through two strategic transactions. FMC has signed an exclusive and global collaboration agreement with Chr. Hansen, a leading biosciences company specializing in cultures, enzymes and fermentation, to develop and commercialize biological crop protection products. FMC also announced the acquisition of the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Biosolutions (CAEB), a division of North Carolina-based RTI International, specializing in sustainable agriculture research. Financial terms were not disclosed.

With these two transactions, FMC Agricultural Solutions has created an end-to-end biological platform that complements its traditional strengths in synthetic crop protection chemistries. “FMC is poised to become a leader in biological crop protection,” said Mark A. Douglas, president, FMC Agricultural Solutions. “We now have a world-class library of microorganisms, deep expertise in biological discovery, and an exclusive strategic alliance with one of the world’s foremost authorities on microbial research and fermentation. Combine these new elements with FMC’s global market access and historic strengths in formulation, product development, and market innovation and we have a powerful platform from which we can launch a range of new products.”

As farmers around the world fight resistance and work to maximize yields, FMC has successfully broadened its portfolio of crop protection products to deliver more value. Long known for proprietary insecticides and herbicides, FMC recently added several established and patented fungicides to its business. Now the company is building on its success in synthetic chemistries to offer a range of biological insecticides, herbicides and fungicides.

Global Strategic Alliance with Chr. Hansen

The new strategic alliance creates a powerful foundation for FMC and Chr. Hansen to compete in the multi-billion dollar biological crop protection market. Under the arrangement, Chr. Hansen will provide scouting, screening, scale up and fermentation manufacturing expertise while FMC will provide scouting, screening, formulation capabilities, product development and registration experience, and global market access. The two companies will develop new products, knowledge and biological expertise within the collaboration’s framework.

Commenting on the agreement, Douglas said, “No one knows microbiology and fermentation better than the team at Chr. Hansen. Their expertise in scouting, screening and scale-up production complements the work we do so well in formulation and bringing products to market. We look forward to working with Chr. Hansen to create a market-leading portfolio of biological solutions.”

FMC and Chr. Hansen have been working together on select projects for several years and this alliance represents the culmination of what has already been a productive relationship. “FMC has proved to be an excellent collaborator. We share a strong commitment to customer-driven innovation,” said Christian Barker, executive vice president, Health and Nutrition, Chr. Hansen. “We are pleased to be entering a new business area with FMC at our side and feel confident that our expertise with microorganisms can help to develop a strong portfolio of biological crop protection solutions.”

The existing collaboration between the two companies will yield the Brazilian launch of the Nemix® C product for use in sugarcane in late 2013, targeting the biggest sugarcane market in the world of 9 million hectares. Nemix® C increases growth and yield through enhanced root development and protection and is a purely biological product. Going forward, the new alliance will expand into additional geographies and crop types with existing and new products.

Acquisition of Center for Agricultural and Environmental Biosolutions (CAEB) Assets

FMC’s acquisition of CAEB gives the company a proprietary discovery and development platform through the addition of a state-of-the art research facility, a team of accomplished scientists, a pipeline of biological products in various stages of development and a world-class library of microbes with deep intellectual property assets, including patent-pending technologies.

“We are impressed with CAEB’s extensive intellectual property, as well as its proven capabilities of scouting and screening for new technologies with the potential to bring value to growers around the world,” said Marc Hullebroeck, vice president and business director for FMC Agricultural Solutions in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Hullebroeck also oversees FMC Agricultural Solutions’ research and development organization.

CAEB’s facility, located in Research Triangle Park, N.C., will become a biological center of excellence within FMC’s global research and development network. The work conducted at the facility will feed directly into FMC’s strategic alliance with Chr. Hansen.

“Over the years, FMC has distinguished itself as a company uniquely in tune with the needs of growers. Everyone at CAEB is passionate about developing greener solutions that protect crops, promote growth, and increase farm yields. We are pleased to join FMC and work with our new colleagues to develop and market new solutions that are both effective and sustainable,” said Dr. Daniel van der Lelie, founder of the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Biosolutions.

Global Strategic Alliance with Chr. Hansen:

  • Exclusive, global collaboration covering development and commercialization of biological crop protection products
  • FMC and Chr. Hansen to provide scouting and screening of new microbes
  • Chr. Hansen to provide scale up and fermentation manufacturing
  • FMC to provide formulation, registration and product development expertise, as well as global market access
  • Cooperation to develop new products, knowledge and biological expertise

 Acquisition of Center for Agricultural and Environmental Biosolutions assets:

  • Proprietary discovery and development platform
  • Rich pipeline of biological products in various stages of development
  • Extensive intellectual property, including patented technologies
  • World-renowned team of researchers based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
  • Deep expertise in scouting and screening for promising new technologies