Tekmira is based in Burnaby, British Columbia. It specializes in developing RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics.
The new option deal supports the application of Tekmira’s delivery technology and the related intellectual property for use in agriculture. It follows Monsanto’s initial testing of Tekmira’s technology, which yielded positive results in the ag-bio realm.
Under the agreement, Tekmira notes that the potential value of the deal could reach up to US$86.2 million. It expects to receive a near term payment of net US$16.5 million.
“We are pleased to partner with Tekmira to explore development of their delivery technologies for the field of agriculture,” said Dr. Robert M McCarroll, VP, Chemistry Technology, Monsanto Company. “We believe that by collaborating with Tekmira, the company’s research can provide a key enablement to support and expand our BioDirect technology platform.”
Sustainable pest, virus and weed control
The companies’ agreement and research collaboration will focus on developing new bio solutions for farmers, with the potential to provide alternatives for sustainable pest, virus and weed control.
Over the option period, expected to be four years, Tekmira will provide lipid formulations for Monsanto’s R&D activities, and Monsanto will make certain payments to Tekmira to maintain its option rights.
“Our proprietary delivery technology is enabling the most advanced applications of RNAi therapeutics in the clinic. This new agreement points to the broad applicability of Tekmira’s delivery platform, and underscores the promise of applying this science within the field of agriculture. We are pleased to have this additional validation of our technology,” said Dr. Mark J. Murray, Tekmira’s president and CEO.
“As a core pillar of our business strategy, we continue to seek out a wide range of partnerships where our technology can enable the programs of our collaborators,” added Dr. Murray.