Monday, December 16, 2013

Possibly the Biggest Agriculture News of the Month: Monsanto And Novozymes Team Up (MON; NZYM OMX Nordic)

All your food are belong to us.
From Forbes:

The BioAg Alliance: Monsanto And Novozymes Team Up On Agricultural Biologicals
The economic power of the microbial world never ceases to amaze me. As I spent most of my career as a natural products pharmacologist, readers here are quite familiar with the microbial world as a source of pharmaceuticals.

While penicillin is perhaps the best-known historic example of a drug derived from a soil microbe, more modern drugs such as the cholesterol-lowering statins are derived from the natural world – thanks to Japan’s Dr. Akira Endo and his grandfather instilling in him a wonder for the world of mushrooms and other fungi.
Microbes continue to be a source of even the newest of pharmacotherapeutics such as Celegene’s bacterial-derived cutaneous T-cell lymphoma drug, romidepsin (Istodax), and Novartis’ fungal-derived multiple sclerosis drug, fingolomid (Gilenya).

The microbial world is also a source for agricultural products such as Bacillus thuringiensis. Known more commonly as Bt, the bacterium is a biological insecticide that can be formulated in liquid sprays or, more often, whose insect-specific toxin genes are expressed in transgenic crops. Closer to home, Bt is also the active constituent of “mosquito dunks,” the summertime standing-water treatment that keeps your rain collection barrels from serving as mosquito breeding grounds.

The BioAg Alliance
Earlier this week, the economic value of agricultural biologicals was on prominent display as the agricultural giant Monsanto teamed up with the international microbial expertise of Novozymes to create an initiative called The BioAg Alliance.

The arrangement calls for the technologies of both companies to converge in a joint R&D pipeline that will, “transform research and commercialization of sustainable microbial products that will provide a new platform of solutions for growers around the world.” While Monsanto has some microbiology capabilities and will maintain its own discovery programs, Novozymes has a laser-sharp focus on microbial fermentation technologies for all manner of consumer products such as the enzymes used in detergents, foods and beverages, biopharmaceuticals, and biofuel production....MORE
HT: Big Picture Agriculture whose post begins:
BioAg Alliance, they are calling it, a venture to use microbes and fungi to enhance crop growth and yield, help with pest resistance, and reduce inputs like water. Monsanto paid Novozymes $300 million to partner in this “game changing” venture. Monsanto will do marketing and field testing. Novozymes will do the manufacturing.

Today, the headlines are everywhere about this announcement, but the articles all say the same basic, vague things. Here at B.P.A. let’s learn more.

First of all, this will rock the world of agribusiness stereotypes....