Evogene announces 'positive' results for mode-of-action herbicide program
Evogene announced today that its Ag-Chemical division achieved positive results in its internal novel Mode-of-Action herbicide program with multiple 'families' of Evogene predicted chemical compounds demonstrating improved herbicidal effectiveness in lab and greenhouse experiments. Herbicides are weed killing chemicals, part of the general pesticide and crop protection market. The market size attributed to herbicides reached $21B in 2016. Herbicide protection plays an important role in global food security and, for instance, without herbicide protection approximately 20% of the global crop yield of wheat would be lost2. Current herbicide products are based on MoA's introduced to market over 30 years ago, while weed resistance to these solutions is globally on the rise, creating a growing need for a novel MoA herbicide. Evogene initiated its herbicide program in 2015, and last year disclosed the identification of several novel herbicide targets, representing a new MoA, and over 10 inhibiting chemical compounds demonstrating initial weed-killing effectiveness. Following these achievements, the Ag-Chemical division, using the CPB platform, predicted and synthesized chemical 'families'. A chemical 'family' includes chemical compounds which are related to a specific, previously discovered and positively validated chemical compounds. Today's announcement discloses that in lab and greenhouse experiments, these chemical 'families' showed various levels of weed-killing effectiveness for individual members of each 'family', in some cases significantly in excess of the initial chemical compound. During 2018, these 'families' of chemical compounds will continue to undergo additional optimization for advancement to the next phase in the herbicidal product pipeline. In parallel, Evogene continues to establish biological proof that these chemical compounds indeed inhibit the identified novel herbicide targets, representing a novel MoA.