Monsanto Highlights New Pipeline Leads, Trial Expansion in Annual Research and Development Presentations

Jan 12, 2010, 08:00 ET from Monsanto Company

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Even as the first two of its High Impact Technologies (HIT) graduate from its pipeline, Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is preparing for the next wave of innovation heralded by new and early-stage projects, company leaders will tell investors today and tomorrow.

Presenting on Monsanto's R&D pipeline in the wake of its record-breaking update of 11 projects moving forward last week, Steve Padgette, vice president of biotechnology, and Chief Financial Officer Carl Casale will discuss future technologies and the company's efforts to continually strengthen its pipeline with investors in New York today and Boston tomorrow.

Last week, Monsanto announced a record 11 phase advancements – with multiple advancements in almost every phase – as part of its first quarter earnings report. Two of these, Genuity™ SmartStax™ corn and Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans, are platform products set to launch commercially this year.

With its annual update, Monsanto advanced four products to the final phase before commercial launch: Genuity™ SmartStax™ refuge-in-a-bag, SDA omega-3 soybeans, Vistive® Gold™ soybeans and Monsanto's first insect-protected Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans designed for the Brazilian market.

"Not only is our current biotech pipeline – and the products in it – flat-out stunning, the future is even more promising," Padgette will say. "We are making investments in enabling technologies to speed up the generation of gene leads significantly laying the groundwork for a new wave of innovation in the years to come."

At the other end of the pipeline, Padgette will say Monsanto's robust discovery engine continues to identify new leads. This is especially true for the company's yield and stress collaboration with Germany-based BASF. Even in a low stress year like 2009, which made it difficult to test stress elements like drought, Padgette will say the collaboration generated thousands of new gene leads, of which 95 percent were unique.

"Our yield and stress pipeline is about yield improvement averages across many environments, and our products require extensive testing across broad geographies and varying germplasm to ensure repeated performance a grower can bank on," Padgette will say. "I have never seen as rich a lead pipeline as we have today, including those generated from our partners and the BASF collaboration. We expect the experience we are gaining every day in our yield and stress trait program will fuel pipeline advancements in the future."

The most advanced products in the yield and stress pipeline – drought-tolerant corn and first-generation higher-yielding soybeans – showed strong performance in 2009 trials. Higher-yielding soybeans delivered an average of a four bushel-per-acre advantage in the fifth season of testing. The company expanded its constructs for second-generation higher-yielding soybean and new gene leads were identified for drought-tolerant cotton, in addition to an expansion in testing.

Webcast information

Presentation slides and simultaneous audio webcasts of the presentations will be available by visiting Monsanto's web site at Live webcasts will be available at 8:30 a.m. ET and 12 p.m. ET on Jan. 12 from New York and 8:30 a.m. ET Jan. 13 from Boston. Following the broadcasts, Monsanto will archive the presentation slides and replays of the webcasts at its web site.

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: . Follow our business on Twitter at on Facebook at, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, such as statements concerning the company's 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: the success of the companies' research and development activities; the costs of and the companies' abilities to access and enforce intellectual property needed for the collaboration; the costs and requirements of regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received; public acceptance of biotechnology products; and other risks and factors detailed in the company's most recent periodic 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 presentation. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may affect actual results.

Editor's Note: Genuity, SmartStax, Roundup, Roundup Ready 2 Yield, Vistive and Monsanto and the Vine Design are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC.

CONTACT  |  Media: Kelli Powers (314-694-4003)

SOURCE Monsanto Company