BASF and Evogene Ltd., a leading company for the improvement of crop productivity, announced the signing of a three-year collaboration for the discovery and development of novel herbicides.

Under the terms of agreement, Evogene will utilize its biology-driven computational discovery approach to identify potential candidate chemicals for novel herbicides. BASF will use its proprietary advanced plant platform to screen the candidate chemicals in order to experimentally validate their biological effects on weeds. Successful candidates from this collaboration will be further developed by BASF.

BASF and Evogene bring key capabilities to the collaboration. With its first herbicide launched already in 1949, BASF currently offers one of the industry’s strongest and most diverse weed control portfolios. The company’s leading position is based on its continuing focus on innovation to drive its pipeline. Evogene is a market leader in bringing predictive biology to agricultural innovation by combining deep understandings of plant science with advanced computational tools for the analysis of big data. Building on these core capabilities, Evogene disclosed the discovery and successful validation of a set of plant targets in July of this year. These will be part of the collaboration.

“Weed resistance is a pressing issue for many growers across the world. Thus, establishing such a partnership to help us identify and develop herbicides with novel modes of action is more needed than ever before. It is a great opportunity to combine Evogene’s expertise in plant physiology and computational biology with BASF’s strength in lead structure optimization and product development,” said Jordi Tormo, Vice President Global Research Herbicides & Services, BASF Crop Protection.

Ofer Haviv, President and CEO of Evogene stated: "We see a significant opportunity for our company to provide novel biology driven approaches for meeting key unmet commercial needs in the ag-chemical field. Therefore, we are extremely pleased and proud to have teamed with BASF in our initial efforts to identify promising candidates to serve as the basis for next generation herbicides. We are confident that the combined knowledge and experience of the companies will lead to development of breakthrough solutions for this critical need.”

The collaboration will be for a period of three years. Additional details of the agreement were not disclosed.