Monsanto forms Preceres LLC to develop ag biologicals

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Monsanto announced the creation of Preceres LLC with founders Daniel Anderson Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Institute of Medical Engineering and Science at MIT and intramural member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and Arturo Vegas, Ph.D., research associate at MIT. Under the terms of the agreement, Preceres LLC will have access to technology licensed from MIT to develop delivery agents to support the development of innovative biological solutions for farmers.

“The technology from MIT is centered on developing new materials for medicine,” said Anderson. “Working with Monsanto gives Preceres a unique opportunity to showcase methods developed to allow rapid synthesis, formulation, analysis, and biological testing of large libraries of biomaterials for use in medical devices, cell therapy and drug delivery and apply them in a global agricultural context. Through this work we hope to demonstrate the broad applicability of our platform and the ability to apply our scientific discoveries to a critically important area of research.”

The combined use of Preceres’ novel delivery discovery assets with Monsanto’s BioDirect technology has the potential to provide new biological options for sustainable pest, virus and weed control.

“The goal of Preceres is to help create highly specific biological control of damaging pests to improve and protect crop yields,” added Roger Wiegand, CEO of Preceres.

This announcement is an investment supported by Monsanto’s corporate venture group, Monsanto Growth Ventures. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Monsanto is known for a long history of innovation but part of our commitment to bringing new technologies to agriculture is also recognizing other innovators we can work with to deliver solutions for our farmer customers,” said Steve Padgette, Monsanto R&D investment strategy lead. “That’s why we look forward to working with the team through this new collaboration, which will complement our own research capabilities and other collaborations in this important space. We have the potential to co-create products that are very precise and specific in how they work, which is consistent with our vision to create products that enable our customers to produce more in an environmentally sustainable way.”


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