Nimbus Therapeutics, LLC, a biotechnology company discovering novel approaches for previously inaccessible disease targets, and Monsanto Company, announced the achievement of the second milestone in their research collaboration. The research collaboration, which was announced in 2013, focuses on the development of new discoveries to help farmers control diseases and promote overall plant health.

Under the collaboration, Nimbus and Monsanto are co-developing agricultural fungicides using Nimbus’ innovative research tools and Monsanto’s agricultural testing capabilities. The breakthrough science collaboration pairs computational technology and robust experimental screens in a rapid cycle discovery process. This process allows the companies to identify and optimize agrochemicals that can help farmers mitigate challenges on-farm and deliver better harvests.

The Nimbus-Monsanto collaboration is already highlighting early season seed treatment benefits in row crops as well as strong foliar disease control in vegetable trials. With today’s announcement, Monsanto will make an undisclosed payment to Nimbus based on the further progression of novel broad-spectrum fungicides in crop field trials. 

Growers around the world are continuously searching for new tools to help them control fungal infestations which impact their harvest on farms. Today, it is estimated that fungal infestations reduce global yields 13 percent on average despite the use of resistant crop varieties and the approximately $14 billion that is spent annually on fungicide treatments. 

Fungal infections appear as rusts, leaf spots, mildews and blights on a range of important crops. Novel fungicides would provide growers with additional tools to prevent yield loss, as well as combat emerging resistance to existing fungicide treatments or applications.

Under the terms of the agreement, a jointly-owned entity has been created that has access to Nimbus’ validated computational and molecular-evolution platform. Monsanto has rights to applications within agriculture, and Nimbus will retain rights for all other applications.