Newsroom

Back to Newsroom

Bayer CropScience, Mertec and MS Technologies to Co-Develop New Soybean Trait Products

MONHEIM, Germany, Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ — Bayer CropScience AG, Mertec LLC and MS Technologies LLC announced today that they have entered into a longterm collaboration agreement to jointly develop and commercialize several innovative trait technology products in soybeans. These products are destined for the U.S. market with the opportunity to expand to other soybean growing countries.

Under this agreement Bayer CropScience and MS Technologies will combine proprietary technologies and will make them available for insertion into high- yielding elite germplasm contributed by Mertec LLC. The agreement allows for resulting traits and products to be broadly licensed to the seed industry. Bayer CropScience will undertake to obtain the necessary global authorizations for the soybean traits developed under the collaboration agreement and to obtain approvals for the associated herbicide use. Financial details of the agreement are not disclosed.

One of the first products expected from the collaboration will be soybean varieties with tolerance to both glyphosate and to HPPD inhibitors, a class of herbicides that include Bayer's Balance(R) Pro brand isoxaflutole, currently used in corn in the United States. The combination of HPPD inhibitors tolerance plus glyphosate tolerance will offer growers flexibility in their herbicide choices, with the herbicide combination offering the potential for one pass weed control as well as effective weed resistance management.

These products are expected to be followed by other multi-trait combinations, including a triple herbicide tolerant stack with LibertyLink®, thus further broadening choices for farmers.

"We are very pleased that together with these strong partners Mertec and MS Technologies, we can offer both traits and new herbicide options, giving growers a host of new weed control options for their soybean crops," said Friedrich Berschauer, CEO of Bayer CropScience. "We consider this a further step in our strategy to maximise the value of our innovative biotech traits coming out of our extensive research pipeline and to strengthen our position in the U.S. soybean market."

"We are excited by the potential benefits this collaboration with Bayer CropScience offers to growers and the industry," said Harry H. Stine, a Director of MS Technologies. "As a result of this collaboration, soybean growers will have better solutions to optimize productivity and maximize per acre profits. We are pleased to be working with Bayer, whose knowledge of herbicide technology and worldwide regulatory expertise will help us bring these novel products to market."

The collaboration builds on the existing relationship between Bayer CropScience and MS Technologies, a key partner in the development of Bayer CropScience's LibertyLink herbicide tolerant trait in soybeans. As a result of this already existing cooperation, LibertyLink soybeans are planned to be introduced to the market in 2009. LibertyLink will be the only alternative non-selective herbicide tolerant system enabling growers to maintain current production practices but rotate weed management systems in order to avoid weed resistance.

About MS Technologies™

MS Technologies LLC is a leading trait, technology and soybean genetics provider. MS Technologies features a portfolio of in-house traits, as well as wide access to other traits and technologies through collaborative agreements with other parties. For more information on MS Technologies, visit our website.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2015, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.3 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

About Mertec LLC

Mertec LLC, based in West Point, Iowa, is a leading breeder and developer of soybean germplasm for the seed trade. Mertec has an extensive line-up of soybean germplasm for the maturities in the United States. Mertec has entered into strategic relationships with biotech and life science companies to deliver the latest traits and technologies to farmer growers in Mertec's high yielding soybean germplasm.