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Biotech firm forms R&D agreement with Chinese agricultural group


Kingston, ON – Performance Plants, an agricultural biotechnology provider with R&D facilities in Kingston, says it has entered into a commercial licensing agreement in corn and a four-year R&D collaborative licensing agreement in rice and soybean with Chinese agricultural company Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group.

DBN operates in China’s feed and seed business, along with developing and commercializing new biotechnologies. It will be the exclusive user of PPI’s trait technologies for drought tolerance, heat tolerance, yield protection, water efficiency and yield enhancement in corn in China. In addition, it will also have non-exclusive rights for the same technologies in rice and soybean in China.

In exchange for access to the technologies, PPI will obtain upfront and milestone payments as well as royalty revenues from DBN from future seed sales and sublicensing activities.

China is one of the world’s largest producers of rice, corn and soybean. China has 67 million acres of corn fields, similar to that of the US. However, China’s corn yields are only approximately half of that of the US, largely due to the less favourable environmental conditions such as drought and heat.

“We are very excited about forming this strategic research and product commercialization partnership with DBN,” says Dr Yafan Huang, president and chief scientific officer at Performance Plants. “Combining PPI’s robust gene discovery program and the set of validated trait technologies with DBN’s strong capability on product development and commercialization, we will be able to form a fast track to deliver a new generation of high-performance seed products to the farmers in China in the near future.”