|Paradigm Genetics Signs Fungicide Evaluation Agreement With Bayer CropScience|
Thursday November 20, 8:35 am ET
Screening tests may lead to future licensing agreement
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Paradigm Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: PDGM - News), a biotechnology company, today announced that it has signed a fungicide evaluation agreement with Bayer CropScience whereby Bayer will test a select number of chemical compounds validated in Paradigm's fungicide screening program. The testing will take place at Bayer's research headquarters in Monheim, Germany. Financial terms were not disclosed.
If the screening tests are successful, Bayer has the option to enter into an exclusive licensing agreement with Paradigm to develop the lead chemicals into commercial fungicides. Under this scenario, Paradigm could receive a combination of research payments, exclusivity payments, milestone payments, and/or royalties for the lead compounds.
"While our partnered programs in herbicide discovery and crop traits occupy center stage in our agricultural business, we have had a successful internal fungicide discovery program in which we've analyzed more than 250 targets and validated more than 50. This program has been supported by a carefully crafted patent strategy, as evidenced by our recently issued U.S. patents," said Keith Davis, Ph.D., Vice President, Agricultural Research of Paradigm Genetics. "In recent months, we've found there to be greater interest in licensing our fungicide assets. This agreement with Bayer represents an important first step in commercializing discoveries resulting from our fungicide program."
In 2003, Paradigm received two U.S. patents that may lead to the development of novel, less toxic fungicides or antifungals, which are highly sought after in the agricultural industry.
The first patent covers a fungicide target found in the fungal lysine biosynthetic pathway as well as methods enabling the discovery of chemicals that inhibit enzymatic steps within the lysine pathway. The second covers the company's proprietary Transposon-Arrayed Gene Knock-Out (TAG-KO®) technology, which covers methods for the rapid and systematic mutation of pathogenic fungi, enabling the efficient identification of novel antifungal and fungicide targets as well as novel biosynthetic and degradation pathways.
The worldwide fungicide market is approximately $6 billion annually. Demand for new fungicides with novel modes of action is expected to remain high due to recurring fungal resistance.