Nimbus Discovery, LLC, a biotechnology company discovering novel approaches for previously inaccessible disease targets, and Monsanto Company, announced a collaboration to develop broad-spectrum fungicides, with new modes of action, that help farmers control diseases and promote overall plant health.

Fungal infections appear as rusts, leaf spots and blights on a range of important food crops and are estimated to result in significant global crop losses each year.

Under the terms of the agreement, a jointly-owned entity will be created that has access to Nimbus’ validated computational platform. Nimbus, with its innovative research tools together with Monsanto’s agricultural testing capabilities will co-develop agricultural fungicides. Monsanto will have access to applications within agriculture and Nimbus will retain rights for all other applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Working with Monsanto gives Nimbus a unique opportunity to showcase its integrated computational chemistry and drug discovery strengths in the global agricultural marketplace,” said Rosana Kapeller, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Nimbus. “This partnership demonstrates the broad applicability of the Nimbus platform and the ability of the Nimbus team to extract the greatest value from our scientific assets.”

Monsanto’s corporate venture group has an on-going strategic alliance with Atlas Venture, founder of Nimbus Discovery, to explore co-investment opportunities in early-stage life sciences technology companies. This announcement is an investment supported by the alliance.

“Part of our commitment to bringing new technologies to agriculture is identifying innovators we can work with to deliver solutions for our farmer customers,” said Steve Padgette, Monsanto R&D investment strategy lead. “Nimbus is breaking new ground with promising and novel work that has strong potential to be applied in agriculture. We look forward to working with them through this new collaboration, which will complement our own research capabilities.”