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Monsanto teams up with Second Genome for insect-control protein solutions

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Monsanto is joining forces with Second Genome, a privately-held company with expertise in microbiome science. The duo’s first item on the agenda- expanding the sourcing and diversity of novel proteins for the development of next-generation insect-control products.

“Data science holds tremendous promise in unlocking new discoveries across our entire research and development pipeline,” said Tom Adams, biotechnology lead for Monsanto, in a news release. “This collaboration highlights how advances in biology and data science are converging to create opportunities for agriculture to identify new solutions to age-old problems. Through Second Genome’s analytics, we aim to better predict the effectiveness of new applications across our research and crop portfolios.”

The collaboration will leverage Monsanto’s extensive genomic databases with Second Genome’s expertise in analyzing microbial function through big data metagenomics, protein discovery, machine learning, and predictive analytics. Second Genome’s technology platform has applications in human and animal healthcare, nutrition, agriculture, the environment, and industrial applications. The company has recently helped to develop novel healthcare products, including therapeutic candidates for inflammatory bowel and metabolic diseases.

The companies anticipate that the research will increase the discovery of proteins that could provide an insect-control benefit in agriculture. The multi-year agreement provides Monsanto with the option to pursue commercial opportunities resulting from insect-control research in agriculture, and Second Genome retains the right to apply discoveries in healthcare and other industries.

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