Corteva, Inc. (NYSE: CTVA), a leading pure-play agriculture company, and Evogene Ltd. (NASDAQ, TASE: EVGN), a leading biotechnology company developing novel products for life science markets, announced today that Corteva will make an investment in Evogene’s agriculture biologicals subsidiary, Lavie Bio (Lavie). The transaction includes the exchange of all shares of Corteva’s wholly owned subsidiary Taxon Biosciences along with an equity investment by Corteva in Lavie. As consideration for the Taxon Biosciences shares and equity investment, Corteva will be issued approximately 30 percent of Lavie’s equity while Evogene will hold approximately 70 percent of Lavie’s equity.
Taxon Biosciences’ capabilities are expected to provide significant synergetic value to Lavie and accelerate the development of Lavie’s products. Taxon Biosciences’ assets, including a large microbial collection and product candidate pipeline, will be integrated into Lavie’s pipeline, accelerating Lavie’s ‘biology driven design’ approach and its product development.
Corteva’s investment in Lavie will also provide to Corteva certain rights with respect to Lavie’s corn and soy pipelines, allowing Lavie to benefit from Corteva’s world-leading corn and soybean market access.
Susanne Wasson, Crop Protection Business Platform President for Corteva Agriscience said,
“This transaction demonstrates Corteva’s ongoing commitment to bringing to market new and differentiated technologies for our customers.” Wasson continued, “We are pleased to collaborate with Lavie Bio – a leader in the field of agriculture biologicals – as we continue to focus on accelerating commercialization of customer-centered innovation in this high-growth sector.”
Ofer Haviv, President & CEO of Evogene and Chairman of the Board of Lavie Bio stated,
“We are extremely pleased with the combined Taxon acquisition and equity investment by Corteva, a world leader in the agricultural market, following close to two years of a co-development collaboration. By providing both additional complementary technologies along with potential go-to-market pathways, we believe this transaction will significantly enhance Lavie’s capabilities for the development and commercialization of next generation agriculture biological products.”
Ido Dor, Lavie Bio’s CEO, stated,
“We are very pleased that Corteva, a world leading agricultural company, continues to partner with Lavie. I am confident that with Corteva’s leadership in agriculture innovation, and the complementary capabilities which we will add through the acquisition of Taxon Biosciences, Lavie is well positioned to achieve its mission of improving food quality, agricultural sustainability and productivity through the introduction of next generation microbiome-based agriculture biological products.”
Agriculture biologicals include externally-applied products derived from natural, biological sources such as microbials, macrobials, biochemicals and minerals to optimize overall plant health. Agriculture biological products include bio-stimulants, for maximizing plant yield and durability, as well as bio-pesticides for insect management. The agriculture biologicals sector is a growing segment of the agriculture inputs market.
Lavie focuses on improving food quality, agricultural sustainability and productivity through the development of novel microbiome based agriculture biological products. Lavie’s unique approach utilizes a proprietary Computational Predictive Biology (CPB) platform, developed by Evogene, leveraging big data and advanced informatics through discovery, optimization and development stages in order to create next generation microbiome-based products. Lavie’s product candidate pipeline addresses major needs in row crops such as corn and wheat as well as specialty crops such as grapes.