ST. LOUIS and IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing the value biosynthetic oils could provide to farmers, the environment and the U.S. economy, Monsanto Company and Biosynthetic Technologies, LLC today announced license and supply agreements that expand the market opportunity for Vistive® Gold soybean growers. This arrangement also includes an equity investment by Monsanto in Biosynthetic Technologies, LLC.
The collaboration creates an opportunity for use of Monsanto's Vistive® Gold soybean oil in production of biosynthetic lubricant oils. Biosynthetic Technologies, in collaboration with USDA scientists, has developed an entirely new class of bio-based synthetic oils that match or exceed the performance characteristics of the highest quality petroleum-based oils currently used in the automotive and industrial lubricant sectors.
"We have tested numerous feed stocks as part of our ongoing research and discovered excellent results using high-oleic soybean oils, in particular Vistive® Gold," said Allen Barbieri, chief executive officer of Biosynthetic Technologies. "This is an important collaboration as we move forward with our other global partners to launch their first lines of domestically-sourced, renewable biosynthetic lubricants. High-oleic soybean oils are a cost-competitive alternative to many of the feed stocks we've explored, and working with Monsanto is a natural fit, given our shared commitment to sustainability and the potential for this product."
Barbieri noted that Biosynthetic Technologies offers two product lines: LubriGreen® Biosynthetic Oils used in the automotive and industrial lubricants sector, and Coco EstolideTM esters for products used in the personal care and cosmetics sectors. The company is in the final stages of successful fleet testing and certification of LubriGreen biosynthetic motor oils synthesized from high-oleic oils such as Vistive® Gold. These LubriGreen base oils are also being used by several major oil companies to formulate and commercialize the first bio-based, biosynthetic motor oils ever sold by these companies.
"I'm very excited about the industrial applications possible with high oleic soybean oil," said John Motter, a Jenera, Ohio, soybean farmer and United Soybean Board Director. "Multiple uses of high oleic oil create greater demand for American soybean farmers and make our products more competitive in the world market. Seed companies are putting the high oleic trait into their best genetics, and these soybeans will yield right up there with anything else farmers are going to grow."
Joe Cornelius, Monsanto's quality trait lead, said company researchers had been aware of BioSynthetic Technologies' technical efforts and were pleased to learn of the success experienced with Vistive® Gold high-oleic soybean oil and the additional opportunity this creates for Monsanto's farmer customers.
"As a leader in soybean advancements and champions of innovations that deliver value for farmers, we are proud to work with Biosynthetic Technologies on this new use for soybean oils," Cornelius said. "This is exciting, cutting-edge science that has such amazing potential, and what's most exciting is that it expands the market opportunity for Vistive® Gold growers and is expected to increase demand for high-oleic soybean oil in the United States. We are always looking for new and sustainable opportunities that benefit our farmer customers and consumers, and the collaboration with Biosynthetic Technologies is a great example."
Vistive® Gold soybeans were developed to improve soybean oil's oxidative stability and reduced saturated fat. This improved oil provides benefits in both food and industrial applications that are not possible from commodity soybean oil. Under the terms of the arrangement, Monsanto has made an equity investment of $7 million in Biosynthetic Technologies. Barbieri said this investment by Monsanto, in addition to investments from BP Ventures and other investors, will enable Biosynthetic Technologies to finalize construction of its pilot plant, facilitate continued product development, and support the commercial launch of its products.
The Vistive® Gold trait, which farmers are trialling now in advance of an expected 2014 commercial launch, will be available in Monsanto's Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans® that offer herbicide resistance with increased yield opportunity. The USDA deregulated the biotech trait in Vistive® Gold soybeans in December 2011, completing the U.S. regulatory process and allowing field testing and seed production to take place within the United States. All field tests and seed production will be conducted under stewardship guidelines until Monsanto has obtained the necessary regulatory approvals in the key soybean export markets.
About Biosynthetic Technologies
Biosynthetic Technologies, LLC holds exclusive rights to patented technology that converts fatty acids found in plant and animal oils into high performance synthetic lubricant base oils. These "biosynthetic" base oils exhibit many superior characteristics to petroleum lubricant oils. Having tested these base oils extensively, several of the world's largest manufacturers of automotive and industrial lubricants are now formulating and certifying finished products they will bring to market under their brand names. First-mover advantage, lack of viable competition and patented technology make Biosynthetic Technologies the market leader in the sustainable lubricants sector. For more information, visit www.biosynthetic.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: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/MonsantoNews, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows® at www.monsantoblog.com, 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 Monsanto'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: Biosynthetic Technologies' ability to commercialize its products; continued competition in seeds, traits and agricultural chemicals; Monsanto's and Biosynthetic Technologies' 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 Monsanto's and Biosynthetic Technologies' research and development activities; the outcomes of major lawsuits and Monsanto's previously-announced SEC investigation; developments related to foreign currencies and economies; successful operation of recent acquisitions; fluctuations in commodity prices; compliance with regulations affecting Monsanto's manufacturing; the accuracy of Monsanto's estimates related to distribution inventory levels; Monsanto's and Biosynthetic Technologies' 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 Monsanto's and Biosynthetic Technologies' facilities; and other risks and factors detailed in Monsanto'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.
Monsanto: Sara Miller (314-694-5824)
Biosynthetic Technologies: (949-390-5910)
SOURCE Monsanto Company