Monsanto Co. on Tuesday announced a licensing agreement with rival Bayer CropScience, the latest in a string of deals struck between the Creve Coeur-based biotechnology giant and its competitors.
The companies announced Tuesday that they have signed a series of cross-licensing deals that will give Bayer CropScience, a subsidiary of Bayer AG of Germany, a royalty-bearing license to Monsanto’s herbicide-tolerant soybean technology. The technology is sold under the brand name Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield.
Bayer will also gain access to a second technology, known as Roundup Ready 2 Xtend, which awaits regulatory approval.
Roundup Ready 2 Yield contains a genetically engineered trait that allows it to survive applications of the Roundup herbicide. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend will enable crops to survive applications of Roundup, generically known as glyphosate, and a second chemical, dicamba.
The deal with Bayer allows the company to use those traits in the U.S. and Canada. Bayer will also have access to Monsanto’s Intacta RR2 Pro, which contains a trait that makes the crops resistant to insects. The product was specifically designed for the booming Brazilian soybean market.
Bayer will be able to stack the Monsanto traits with those it developed, under certain circumstances, the companies said.
In return, Bayer will grant Monsanto licenses to technologies for corn rootworm and herbicide tolerance.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Last week, Monsanto and Dow Agrosciences, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co., announced a cross-licensing deal that will allow Dow to use a corn rootworm technology being developed by Monsanto. In exchange, Dow will give Monsanto access to a new corn technology that enables crops to survive applications of the chemical 2,4-D.
In March, Monsanto and rival, DuPont, agreed to settle lawsuits, and, at the same time, agreed to allow licensing of each others’ technologies, including a Monsanto technology that allows crops to survive applications of dicamba, made by chemical giant BASF.
Together, Monsanto and its rivals have been working to develop products to combat growing weed and insect resistance that are rendering their blockbuster products less effective.
Environmental groups had expressed concern over their efforts, saying they’ll lead to greater use of dangerous and outdated chemicals on farmland.