The Two Blades Foundation (2Blades) and the Monsanto Company announced that they have expanded their TAL Code licensing agreement. A license agreement was announced earlier this year that provided Monsanto with initial access to certain applications of the technology.
The Transcription Activator Like (TAL) effector Code technology is based on novel sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins that can be designed quickly and easily to recognize virtually any sequence of interest. Named Method of the Year in 2011 by the journal Nature Methods (9:1 doi:10.1038/nmeth.1852), the technology enables a number of highly useful tools to target specific loci in a genome and modulate the expression of genes. These tools include the insertion or deletion of specific sequences, and the up- or down-regulation of genes at targeted locations in the genome.
"We're very pleased to extend additional rights to Monsanto. Their efforts with the technology will drive advances in crop productivity that will benefit all farmers." said 2Blades Chief Operating Officer Diana Horvath. 2Blades' focus is to support the development and deployment of durable disease resistance with a particular emphasis on aiding subsistence farmers. Monsanto's improvements in the technology will be granted back to 2Blades for their programs in subsistence crops. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed