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Global firms sign deal to improve food quality and agricultural sustainability

Lavies product pipeline addresses major needs in row crops such as corn and wheat as well as specialty crops such as grapes. (Image source: Jill Wellington/Pixabay)

Corteva, Inc, a pure-play agriculture company, announced its investment in the biotechnology firm Evogene Ltds agriculture biologicals subsidiary Lavie Bio (Lavie)

The transaction includes the exchange of all shares of Corteva's wholly-owned subsidiary Taxon Biosciences along with an equity investment by Corteva in Lavie. As consideration for the Taxon Biosciences shares and equity investment, Corteva will be issued approximately 30 per cent of Lavie's equity while Evogene will hold approximately 70 per cent of Lavie's equity.

Taxon Biosciences' capabilities are expected to provide significant synergetic value to Lavie and accelerate the development of Lavie's products. Taxon Biosciences' assets, including a large microbial collection and product candidate pipeline, will be integrated into Lavie's pipeline, accelerating Lavie's 'biology driven design' approach and its product development.

The investment in Lavie is set to provide to Corteva certain rights with respect to Lavie's corn and soy pipelines, allowing Lavie to benefit from Corteva's world-leading corn and soybean market access.

Ofer Haviv, president and CEO of Evogene and chairman of the Board of Lavie Bio, stated that by providing both additional complementary technologies along with potential go-to-market pathways, this transaction aims to enhance Lavie's development and commercialisation of next-generation agriculture biological products.

Reflecting on this, Ido Dor, Lavie Bio's CEO, noted that with this initiative, the company aims to achieve its mission of improving food quality, agricultural sustainability and productivity through the introduction of next-generation microbiome-based agriculture biological products.

Agriculture biologicals include externally-applied products derived from natural, biological sources such as microbials, macrobials, biochemicals and minerals to optimise overall plant health. Agriculture biological products include bio-stimulants, for maximising plant yield and durability, as well as bio-pesticides for insect management. The agriculture biologicals sector is a growing segment of the agriculture inputs market.

Lavie focuses on improving food quality, agricultural sustainability and productivity through the development of novel microbiome-based agriculture biological products. The company utilises a proprietary computational predictive biology (CPB) platform, developed by Evogene, leveraging big data and advanced informatics through discovery, optimisation and development stages in order to create next-generation microbiome-based products. Lavie's product candidate pipeline addresses major needs in row crops such as corn and wheat as well as speciality crops such as grapes.