MONSANTO Co. announced the creation of Preceres LLC, a delivery company focused on agricultural biologicals by harnessing research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Preceres was formed with Dr. Daniel Anderson, associate professor in the MIT department of chemical engineering and Institute of Medical Engineering & Science and intramural member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and Dr. Arturo Vegas, research associate at MIT.
Under the terms of the agreement, Preceres will have access to technology licensed from MIT to develop delivery agents to support the development of innovative biological solutions for farmers.
"The technology from MIT is centered on developing new materials for medicine. Working with Monsanto gives Preceres a unique opportunity to showcase methods developed to allow rapid synthesis, formulation, analysis and biological testing of large libraries of biomaterials for use in medical devices, cell therapy and drug delivery and apply them in a global agricultural context," Anderson said. "Through this work, we hope to demonstrate the broad applicability of our platform and the ability to apply our scientific discoveries to a critically important area of research."
The combined use of Preceres' novel delivery discovery assets with Monsanto's BioDirect technology has the potential to provide new biological options for sustainable pest, virus and weed control.
"The goal of Preceres is to help create highly specific biological control of damaging pests to improve and protect crop yields," Preceres chief executive officer Roger Wiegand explained.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Monsanto is known for a long history of innovation, but part of our commitment to bringing new technologies to agriculture is also recognizing other innovators we can work with to deliver solutions for our farmer customers. ... We have the potential to co-create products that are very precise and specific in how they work, which is consistent with our vision to create products that enable our customers to produce more in an environmentally sustainable way," said Steve Padgette, Monsanto research and development investment strategy lead.
Monsanto is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products to improve farm productivity and food quality.