Plant Health Care, plc (PHC) anticipates expanded use of their proprietary harpin technologies as a consequence of a license agreement with Bayer CropScience for use of the harpin genes as detailed in the release below. PHC is currently selling harpin technology products as proteins in the form of N-Hibit®, ProAct™, and Employ®. PHC previously entered into a license agreement with Monsanto, providing for Monsanto’s exclusive rights to test and ultimately to market, should they choose to do so, harpin seed treatments, in certain specific crops, on a global basis. The license arrangement just announced provides Bayer with the rights to use the harpin genes in genetically engineered Brassica oilseeds.
Plant Health Care, plc and Bayer CropScience Sign Harpin Gene License Agreement: New technology with growth and quality effects for use in Brassica oilseeds
Pittsburgh, PA, September 17, 2008 – Plant Health Care, plc and Bayer CropScience AG have signed a long-term license agreement for the use of Plant Health Care’s harpin genes in Brassica oilseeds. The naturally occurring Harpin genes encode proteins which support growth and quality effects by increasing the defense mechanisms of the plants against a broad spectrum of pests and diseases. Harpin proteins are classified as biochemical pesticides by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The arrangement covers all geographic areas except Canada, the U.S.A. and Mexico. Plant Health Care will receive an agreed structured schedule of payments; further financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to expand our research collaboration with Plant Health Care into the plant biotech field enabling the incorporation of new traits into our oilseeds R&D pipeline. As the leading Brassica oilseeds production company Bayer is committed to develop a new generation of varieties with greater productivity and improved quality for our customers”, stated Dr. Michiel van Lookeren Campagne, Head of BioScience Research for Bayer CropScience.
Dr. Greg Lewis, Vice President of Corporate Development for Plant Health Care commented: “We are delighted that a company of the stature of Bayer CropScience has recognized the intrinsic value of the harpin genes in this application.”
Dr. Zhongmin Wei, Chief Scientific Officer & Vice President of Harpin Technologies for Plant Health Care, and discoverer of the technologies, states that within the company’s harpin gene library there is the potential for different genes and gene combinations to produce many and varied effects in plants ranging from increases in growth and yield to enhancement of resistance to pests, diseases and environmental stressors. Dr. Wei
further commented: “In many experiments with multiple crops containing harpin genes, researchers have shown increases in growth, enhanced resistance to nematodes as well as fungal, bacterial and viral diseases; plus evidence of tolerance to salinity.”
Plant Health Care plc (“PHC”) is a leading provider of natural products for plants and soil. Established in 1995 in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) in the United States, PHC currently has approximately 70 employees and has operations in the US, Mexico, UK, Spain, and the Netherlands. The Company listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in July 2004. Ticker symbol is PHC.