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Posted 21 January 2010. PMN Crop News.

Monsanto Highlights New Pipeline Leads, Trial Expansion in Annual Research and Development Presentations

Source: Monsanto Press Release.

St. Louis, Missouri (January 12, 2010) -- Even as the first two of its High Impact Technologies (HIT) graduate from its pipeline, Monsanto Company is preparing for the next wave of innovation heralded by new and early-stage projects, company leaders will tell investors today and tomorrow.


Presenting on Monsanto's R&D pipeline in the wake of its record-breaking update of 11 projects moving forward last week, Steve Padgette, vice president of biotechnology, and Chief Financial Officer Carl Casale will discuss future technologies and the company's efforts to continually strengthen its pipeline with investors in New York today and Boston tomorrow.

Last week, Monsanto announced a record 11 phase advancements - with multiple advancements in almost every phase - as part of its first quarter earnings report. Two of these, Genuity™ SmartStax™ corn and Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans, are platform products set to launch commercially this year.

With its annual update, Monsanto advanced four products to the final phase before commercial launch: Genuity™ SmartStax™ refuge-in-a-bag, SDA omega-3 soybeans, Vistive® Gold™ soybeans and Monsanto's first insect-protected Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans designed for the Brazilian market.

"Not only is our current biotech pipeline - and the products in it - flat-out stunning, the future is even more promising," Padgette will say. "We are making investments in enabling technologies to speed up the generation of gene leads significantly laying the groundwork for a new wave of innovation in the years to come."

At the other end of the pipeline, Padgette will say Monsanto's robust discovery engine continues to identify new leads. This is especially true for the company's yield and stress collaboration with Germany-based BASF.

Even in a low stress year like 2009, which made it difficult to test stress elements like drought, Padgette will say the collaboration generated thousands of new gene leads, of which 95 percent were unique.

"Our yield and stress pipeline is about yield improvement averages across many environments, and our products require extensive testing across broad geographies and varying germplasm to ensure repeated performance a grower can bank on," Padgette will say. "I have never seen as rich a lead pipeline as we have today, including those generated from our partners and the BASF collaboration. We expect the experience we are gaining every day in our yield and stress trait program will fuel pipeline advancements in the future."

The most advanced products in the yield and stress pipeline - drought-tolerant corn and first-generation higher-yielding soybeans - showed strong performance in 2009 trials. Higher-yielding soybeans delivered an average of a four bushel-per-acre advantage in the fifth season of testing. The company expanded its constructs for second-generation higher-yielding soybean and new gene leads were identified for drought-tolerant cotton, in addition to an expansion in testing.

Genuity, SmartStax, Roundup, Roundup Ready 2 Yield, Vistive and Monsanto and the Vine Design are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC.

Kelli Powers