First Milestone Reached in Monsanto Collaboration
Novel, broad-spectrum fungicides show compelling activity in initial crop field trials
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and ST. Louis, Mo. – December 10, 2014 – Nimbus Discovery, a biotechnology company discovering novel approaches for previously inaccessible disease targets, and Monsanto Company, today announced the achievement of the first milestone in their research collaboration. The research collaboration, which was announced last year, 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. With today’s announcement, Monsanto will make an undisclosed payment to Nimbus based on the demonstration of activity of novel, broad-spectrum fungicides in key crops of interest.
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.
Nimbus Discovery, a biotechnology company, harnesses cutting-edge computational technologies to uncover breakthroughs in small molecule pharmacology. Nimbus focuses on medically important and highly sought-after disease targets that have proven inaccessible to traditional industry approaches, and its robust pre-clinical pipeline currently includes novel agents for the treatment of cancer, metabolic disease and inflammation. Nimbus is organized as a constellation of small, nimble teams of experienced drug-hunters deployed across program-focused subsidiary companies. Each team is freed from conventional barriers to scientific success, chartered to create solutions, and geared for program asset deals with leading pharmaceutical companies. Founded in 2009, Nimbus partnered with Schrödinger to invent and apply a physics-based approach that establishes a new standard for rational drug design. Nimbus is backed by world-class life science investors, including Atlas Venture, SR One, Lilly Ventures and Bill Gates. The company has been named by FierceBiotech as one of 2013’s Fierce 15, designating it as one of the most promising private biotechnology companies in the industry. For more information please visit www.nimbustx.com.
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows® at www.monsantoblog.com, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
Monsanto Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements contained in this release are “forward-looking statements,” such as statements concerning the company’s anticipated financial results, current and future product performance, regulatory approvals, business and financial plans and other non-historical facts. These statements are based on current expectations and currently available information. However, since these statements are based on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, the company’s actual performance and results may differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among others: continued competition in seeds, traits and agricultural chemicals; the company’s exposure to various contingencies, including those related to intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received, and public acceptance of biotechnology products; the success of the company’s research and development activities; the outcomes of major lawsuits and the previously-announced SEC investigation; developments related to foreign currencies and economies; successful operation of recent acquisitions; fluctuations in commodity prices; compliance with regulations affecting our manufacturing; the accuracy of the company’s estimates related to distribution inventory levels; the company’s ability to fund its short-term financing needs and to obtain payment for the products that it sells; the effect of weather conditions, natural disasters and accidents on the agriculture business or the company’s facilities; and other risks and factors detailed in the company’s most recent Form 10-K Report to the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this release. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may affect actual results.