Agribusiness: D&PL acquires license to DuPont herbicide tolerance technology

Delta and Pine Land Company, a leading commercial breeder, producer and marketer of cotton planting seed, has announced it has acquired several licenses from DuPont subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., including its Optimum GAT herbicide tolerance technology for cotton and soybeans, enabling the company to enhance its leading product portfolio.

Additionally, D&PL has acquired licenses for other products developed by the DuPont biotechnology research program and certain enabling technologies for use in cotton, soybeans and other crops.

The Optimum GAT trait developed by DuPont will provide farmers with expanded weed control options and help optimize yield. This herbicide tolerance technology makes plants tolerant to both glyphosate and ALS herbicides, including sulfonylureas.

Previously, DuPont announced plans to commercialize Optimum GAT in Pioneer brand corn and soybeans and also secured significant global outlicense agreements.

D&PL and DuPont, through its subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., are partners in a joint venture, DeltaMax Cotton LLC, which was initially formed to develop and commercialize glyphosate tolerance technology in cotton.

D&PL also announced it has reached an agreement to license soybean lines suitable for planting in the Southern soybean market through the involvement of GreenLeaf Genetics LLC.

Tom Jagodinski, President and CEO of D&PL said, "We are pleased to build on our strategic plan by gaining access to these new and exciting technologies and expanding our partnership with DuPont. We look forward to bringing our farmer customers increased cotton and soybean technology choices, while adding a second herbicide tolerance gene to the DeltaMax joint venture."

"We are excited that the world's largest cotton seed company licenses Optimum GAT for cotton globally and soybeans in the U.S.," stated Erik Fyrwald, group vice-president, DuPont Agriculture and Nutrition. "This announcement validates our trait pipeline and Optimum GAT, extending the acreage served globally."

D&PL will pay DuPont $20.5 million in connection with this transaction and expects to account for it in the fourth quarter. Technology fee sharing for the Optimum GAT technology for cotton is essentially consistent with the existing terms in the DeltaMax Collaboration agreement.

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