Syngenta and Devgen announced a six-year global license and research agreement. The partnership will enable Syngenta to add RNA interference (RNAi) technology to its crop protection pipeline. As of April 2013, the two companies will jointly develop new biological insect control solutions based on RNAi technology.

Under the agreement, Syngenta will develop and commercialize sprayable RNAi-based crop protection products originating from Devgen. Devgen will bolster its research activities through funding and royalties from Syngenta, consisting of an upfront technology access payment of EUR 22m and EUR 4.8m per year to fund research over the course of the agreement. Devgen is eligible to receive royalties from Syngenta on sales of developed products.

"We are pleased to enter this research partnership with Devgen given their leading position in RNAi research and proven expertise in RNAi-based insect control," said Sandro Aruffo, Global Head of Research and Development. "This novel technology further expands our growing range of biological insect control solutions."

"We are pleased to have Syngenta, a leading crop protection and seed company, as partner in the RNAi field. This relationship will enable Devgen to further and fully exploit the potential of this exciting technology for spray applications." says Thierry Bogaert, CEO of Devgen.

RNAi is a naturally occurring process in all organisms. In agriculture, RNAi is developed to target and control a specific pest, thereby protecting high-value crops with no harm to beneficial insects.