Monsanto adds another CRISPR platform to genetic toolbox

Monsanto-ToolGen logos

ST. LOUIS — Monsanto Company has forged an agreement with ToolGen, Inc., a biotechnology company specializing in genome editing, to use ToolGen’s CRISPR technology platform to develop agricultural products.

The companies announced Aug. 16 that they have reached a global licensing agreement for Monsanto to access ToolGen’s suite of CRISPR intellectual property for use in plants.

CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. It’s a relatively new way to modify an organism’s genome by precisely delivering a DNA-cutting enzyme to a targeted region of DNA. The resulting modification can delete or replace specific DNA pieces, thereby promoting or disabling certain traits.

The companies noted that gene-editing technologies, like CRISPR, offer agriculture researchers significant advantages over existing plant breeding and biotechnology methods due to their versatility and efficiency.

This agreement further expands Monsanto’s broad portfolio of gene-editing tools that can be used to develop improved and sustainable crops, said Tom Adams, Ph.D., vice president of biotechnology for Monsanto.

“As a company we remain committed to the development of safe, sustainable and high-quality crops, and look forward to leveraging the CRISPR platform.”

Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In January, Monsanto announced an agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for the nonexclusive use of its CRISPR-Cpf1 genome-editing technology, which is different from the CRISPR-Cas9 system.


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