GENET archive


7-Business: Update on mergers and cooperations in the biotech industry

                                 PART I
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TITLE:  Biotech seed rivals agree to joint effort
SOURCE: Associated Press, by Christopher Leonard
DATE:   19 Jan 2006

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Biotech seed rivals agree to joint effort
Deal stiffens competition for DuPont Co. division

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a division of Wilmington-based DuPont Co., is one of
Monsanto's biggest competitors. The new agreement will increase
competition for Pioneer, which has recently ramped up efforts to take
market share from Monsanto.

ST. LOUIS -- The world's biggest seed company is using an old piece of
countryside wisdom: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

After years of litigation, Monsanto Co. announced Wednesday it reached
an agreement with competitor Dow Chemical Co. that will allow the
companies to share patented technology for developing genetically
altered crops.

St. Louis-based Monsanto is by far the industry leader in the
multibillion-dollar market for biotech crops, having released the first
strains 10 years ago. A key source of profit is Monsanto's patented
genes, which allow it to charge fees and premium prices for seed.

The deal allows Monsanto and Dow's subsidiary, Dow AgroSciences LLC, to
share patented genes in different strains of corn, soybeans and cotton.
Adding multiple engineered genes into a seed is called "stacking" in the
industry and produces plants with a number of traits, such as pest and
herbicide resistance.

Under the new agreement, Dow will have access to Monsanto's Roundup
Ready genes that make corn resistant to the popular herbicide. Monsanto
will have access to Dow's Herculex genes for pest resistance.

The companies didn't release financial terms of the deal, which also
included an agreement to end litigation over the patented Bt gene that
makes corn resistant to insects.

The deal could help end the historical pattern of Monsanto and Midland,
Mich.-based Dow suing each other, said analyst Frank Mitsch with Fulcrum
Research in New York.

"Not only do the companies avoid costly legal fees going forward, but
each gains access to new technologies that provide financial benefits,"
Mitsch wrote in a report on the deal.

On the losing end of this agreement is Pioneer Hi-Bred, one of
Monsanto's biggest competitors, Mitsch said. A division of Wilmington-
based DuPont Co., Pioneer is the second-biggest biotech crop company
after Monsanto.

The new agreement will increase competition for Pioneer, which has
ramped up efforts to take market share from Monsanto during the past few
years, Mitsch said.

At Monsanto's annual shareholder's meeting Tuesday, CEO Hugh Grant was
asked about litigation with Dow over patents. Grant hinted that the
companies could achieve more through cooperation.

Grant compared the biotech crop market to making television sets. In
that industry, a single television contains pieces that are patented by
a number of companies. It's how the TV is put together that gives it
value, he said.

Monsanto's goal is anything but modest when it comes to selling biotech
seed. Monsanto already dominates the market for genetically engineered
soybeans, and the agreement with Dow will help it make inroads in the
corn market.

Monsanto-patented genes are now planted on about 24 million acres of
U.S. cropland, company spokesman Lee Quarles said.

Grant said Tuesday the company wants to expand that to 50 million acres
by 2008 or 2009, which would account for about 63 percent of all corn acreage.

                                 PART II
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Bayer acquires Icon Genetics AG
SOURCE: Bayer, Germany
DATE:   11 Jan 2006

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Bayer acquires Icon Genetics AG
Major strategic accomplishment strengthens Bayer's activities in the
plant-made pharmaceuticals (PMP) innovation area

Monheim, Germany - Bayer Innovation GmbH (BIG), a subsidiary of the
Bayer Group engaged in developing new fields of business, has acquired
Icon Genetics AG, a biotech company headquartered in Munich, Germany.
Icon Genetics discovers innovative methods for the development and use
of engineered plants. Bayer and Icon Genetics are already cooperating on

The acquisition will strengthen Bayer's activities aimed at producing
specific pharmaceutical substances in plants (plant-made
pharmaceuticals, or PMPs). This technology utilizes the natural protein
production processes in plants as a way of producing therapeutically
active substances. The parties have agreed not to disclose any details
of the acquisition. Closing of the transaction took place on January 9, 2006.

Icon Genetics, established in 1999 and financed by venture capital from
IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH, CFH GmbH, KfW-
Bankengruppe and BioM AG, has sites in Halle and Munich. The company is
engaged in developing processes for the biotechnological production of
biopharmaceuticals and other high-value products in plants. The results
of this activity are reflected in a total of more than 40 patents
granted or applied for.

Bayer Innovation GmbH (BIG), headquartered in Düsseldorf, is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Bayer AG. BIG evaluates and develops new fields of
business for the Bayer Group that are in line with Bayer's core
competencies of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials and
complement its current key areas of innovation and business.

Monheim, January 11, 2006
Contact: Annette Josten, phone: +49 2173 38-5788 E-Mail:

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current
assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer CropScience AG management.
Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could
lead to material differences between the actual future consolidated
results, financial situation, development or performance of the Bayer
CropScience AG or our parent company, Bayer AG, and the estimates given
here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer AG's public reports
filed with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission (including Bayer AG's Form 20-F). Neither Bayer AG
nor Bayer CropScience AG assumes any liability whatsoever to update
these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or


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