Monsanto and Atlas Venture Enter Alliance to Invest in Innovative Life Sciences Companies

Apr 14, 2011 | Corporate Member News

Will combine expertise to identify early-stage companies and emerging technologies

Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) and Atlas Venture, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Cambridge, Mass., today announced an agreement to enter a multi-year collaboration to explore investment opportunities in early-stage life sciences technology companies.

Under the agreement, Monsanto will work with Atlas to identify strategic investments in a number of technology focus areas within agriculture to support and complement Monsanto’s interests and potential growth areas, including genomics, informatics and biology.  For Atlas, this collaboration provides access to technology capabilities and insight that bring a unique perspective to its investment process.

“As we work with farmers to help meet the needs of our growing planet, continued innovation is critical,” said Steve Padgette, Monsanto’s research and development investment strategy lead.  “Our collaboration with Atlas will provide a great opportunity for us to get an early look at promising new technologies that could potentially be introduced into our biotechnology, breeding and agronomic practices work to drive yields even further.”

Monsanto has partnered with Atlas because of the company’s strong experience and investment history within the life sciences industry and across the technology areas of interest. For Atlas, Monsanto’s technology expertise and leadership in research and development will help support investment decisions. The alliance will add two professionals working closely with the Atlas and Monsanto teams to identify investment opportunities and secure technical diligence in the areas of interest.

“By applying Monsanto’s research-based approach to innovation in agriculture to evaluating new life sciences technologies, we’ll be able to access technology platforms and deep expertise right from the beginning of the company building process,” said Jean-Francois Formela, a partner at Atlas Venture.  “The collaboration is truly synergistic and leverages each group’s core competency and expertise.”

“At Monsanto, we have a strong history of collaborating with a diverse group of public and private partners worldwide,” Padgette added. “We look forward to continuing this tradition of partnering as we work to bring innovative technologies to farmers.”

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

About Atlas Venture

Atlas Venture is a leading early-stage international venture capital firm that invests in technology and life sciences businesses. Since inception in 1980, its partners have helped build over 350 companies in more than 16 different countries.  For more information visit Atlas’ website at http://www.atlasventure.com/.  

About Monsanto Company

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: http://www.monsanto.com/. Follow our business on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on Facebook® at www.facebook.com/MonsantoCo, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information

Certain statements contained in this release are “forward-looking statements,” such as statements concerning the company’s anticipated financial results, current and future product performance, regulatory approvals, business and financial plans and other non-historical facts. These statements are based on current expectations and currently available information. However, since these statements are based on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, the company’s actual performance and results may differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among others: continued competition in seeds, traits and agricultural chemicals; the company’s exposure to various contingencies, including those related to intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received, and public acceptance of biotechnology products; the success of the company’s research and development activities; the outcomes of major lawsuits; developments related to foreign currencies and economies; successful operation of recent acquisitions; fluctuations in commodity prices; compliance with regulations affecting our manufacturing; the accuracy of the company’s estimates related to distribution inventory levels; the company’s ability to fund its short-term financing needs and to obtain payment for the products that it sells; the effect of weather conditions, natural disasters and accidents on the agriculture business or the company’s facilities; and other risks and factors detailed in the company’s most recent Form 10-K Report to the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this release. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may affect actual results.

Media    
CONTACT Monsanto:  Sara Miller, 314-694-5824  
  Atlas: Matt Burke, 603-315-0618  

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