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Evogene and IMAmt Sign Collaboration for Genomic Promoter Discovery and Validation in Cotton

20:00 EDT 18 Oct 2016 | Globe Newswire

REHOVOT, Israel and CUIABÁ, Brazil, Oct. 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evogene Ltd. (NYSE:EVGN) (TASE:EVGN), a leading biotechnology company for the improvement of crop productivity, and Instituto Mato-grossense do Algodão (IMAmt), a leading developer and marketer of cotton seeds, announced today a collaboration for the discovery and validation of novel genomic promoters to support IMAmt's product development of insect-resistant cotton varieties. The multi-year collaboration agreement between the companies provides for R&D fees and royalty payments from any future products developed as a result of the collaboration, to be paid to Evogene.

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As part of the collaboration, Evogene will apply its biology-driven, predictive computational technology to identify novel genomic promoters. The two companies will then work jointly to validate the candidate promoters in cotton. The resulting validated promoters will support IMAmt's product development pipeline of cotton varieties based on Bt toxins, a family of bacterial genes toxic to insects, and featuring resistance to Boll Weevil, a beetle-like pest which feeds on cotton buds and flowers.

Genomic promoters are segments of DNA that determine the expression patterns for genes.  Such promoters, when used with appropriate genes, are an essential component of improving seed trait efficacy. 

"We are very excited to support IMAmt's product development efforts in the area of novel insect resistant varieties. This collaboration is indicative of a growing realization in our industry that the selection of the most appropriate promoter is a crucial component in the successful development of a seed trait," said Ofer Haviv, Evogene President and Chief Executive Officer. "Evogene's broadly applicable biology-driven computational platform provides a very unique solution to this need."

“We have great expectations towards this partnership with Evogene and we are sure that it will be crucial for the success of our project of developing cotton GM plants resistant to boll weevil, key pest of this crop in South America,” said Alvaro Salles, IMAmt Chief Executive Officer.

The agreement expands Evogene's activity in the field of promoter discovery and follows the Company’s recent initial results for successful promoter validation.

About IMAmt:
Instituto Mato-grossense do Algodão (IMAmt) is a crop research and extension company, owned by Mato Grosso Cotton Grower’s Association (Ampa, Cuiabá/ Brazil). Created in 2007, IMAmt release cotton, soybean and other crop varieties for farmers of Brazilian’s cerrados, with technologies for herbicides, pests, diseases and nematode resistance. For more informations, please visit www.imamt.com.br

About Evogene Ltd.:
Evogene (NYSE:EVGN) (TASE:EVGN) is a leading biotechnology company for the improvement of crop productivity for the food, feed and fuel industries. The Company operates in three key market segments: improved seed traits (addressing yield and resistance to diseases and environmental stresses); innovative ag-chemicals (developing novel herbicide solutions for weed control); and ag-biologicals. Evogene has collaborations with world-leading seed and ag-chemical companies. For more information, please visit www.evogene.com or contact the Company at info@evogene.com.

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" relating to future events. These statements may be identified by words such as "may", "could", “expects”, "intends", “anticipates”, “plans”, “believes”, “scheduled”, “estimates” or words of similar meaning. Such statements are based on current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions, describe opinions about future events, involve certain risks and uncertainties which are difficult to predict and are not guarantees of future performance. Therefore, actual future results, performance or achievements of Evogene may differ materially from what is expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, many of which beyond Evogene's control, including, without limitation, those risk factors contained in Evogene’s reports filed with the appropriate securities authority. Evogene disclaims any obligation or commitment to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or developments or changes in expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions.  

Contact: 
Eyal Leibovitz, CFO
E: IR@evogene.com
T: +972 8931 1900

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