DuPont Pioneer Secures Exclusive Rights to ERS Genomics’ CRISPR-Cas Patent Portfolio for Agriculture

JOHNSTON, Iowa, and DUBLIN, Ireland, June 27, 2017 – DuPont Pioneer (DuPont) and ERS Genomics (ERS) announced a technology license agreement whereby DuPont gains exclusive rights to the ERS patent portfolio covering CRISPR-Cas genome editing technology for all agricultural uses and applications in plants. ERS was formed to commercialize the foundational intellectual property (IP) of the CRISPR-Cas technology from co-inventor and co-owner Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D.    

 “We see CRISPR-Cas technology as an advancement in plant breeding which can enable a new era in crop improvement. This licensing agreement with ERS is a piece of DuPont Pioneer’s strategy to position our business as a leader in the application of CRISPR-Cas in agriculture,” said Neal Gutterson, vice president, Research & Development at DuPont Pioneer. “Our intention is to collaborate with public and private entities globally, to apply CRISPR-Cas to a wide set of crops and maximize the value of this important technology for the greater good.”     

"This technology has had a tremendous impact on biological research and holds promise across a range of important applications," said Eric Rhodes, CEO of ERS Genomics. "We are proud to have DuPont Pioneer, a leading innovator in agriculture, as one of our key strategic licensees as we continue to make the technology broadly available for all other available applications through licensing."     

The licensing agreement with ERS complements DuPont’s previously announced CRISPR-Cas licensing and collaboration agreements with Caribou Biosciences and Vilnius University. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The DuPont patent estate comprises more than 60 patents and patent applications related to the use of CRISPR for bacteria identification and immunization. It also comprises patent applications related to CRISPR-Cas gene editing technology.     

Pioneer is applying CRISPR-Cas as an advanced plant breeding tool to develop seed products for greater environmental resiliency, productivity and sustainability. Pioneer has defined CRISPR-Cas guiding principles, which include helping enable others wanting to develop agricultural products using CRISPR-Cas by providing access to its IP, technology capabilities, infrastructure and scientific expertise.     

About ERS Genomics

ERS Genomics was formed to provide broad access to the foundational CRISPR-Cas9 intellectual property held by Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D. Non-exclusive licenses are available for research and sale of products and services across multiple fields including: research tools, kits, reagents; discovery of novel targets for therapeutic intervention; cell lines for discovery and screening of novel drug candidates; GMP production of healthcare products; production of industrial materials such as enzymes, biofuels and chemicals; and synthetic biology. For additional information please visit www.ersgenomics.com.     

About Dupont Pioneer

DuPont Pioneer is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success®     DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.

DuPont Forward-Looking Statements
On December 11, 2015, DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company (“TDCC”) announced entry into an Agreement and Plan of Merger, (the “Merger Agreement”) under which the companies will combine in an all-stock merger (the “Merger Transaction”), subject to satisfaction of closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approval. The combined company will be DowDuPont Inc. DuPont and Dow intend that, following consummation of the Merger Transaction, that DowDuPont Inc. will pursue, subject to the receipt of approval by the board of directors of DowDuPont, the separation of the combined company’s agriculture business, specialty products business, and materials science business through a series of tax-efficient transactions (collectively, the “Intended Business Separations”). For more information, please see DuPont’s latest annual, quarterly and current reports  on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K, as well as the joint proxy/prospectus included in the DowDuPont Registration  Statement on Form S-4 filed in connection with the Merger Transaction. In connection with the European Commission (EC) grant of conditional regulatory clearance in Europe for the Merger Transaction, DuPont entered into a definitive agreement (the “FMC Transaction Agreement”) with FMC Corporation (FMC).  Under the FMC Transaction Agreement subject to the closing of the Merger Transaction in addition to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval,  FMC will acquire certain Crop Protection business and R&D assets from DuPont and DuPont has agreed to acquire certain assets relating to FMC’s Health and Nutrition segment, (collectively, the “FMC Transactions”.)

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ERS Genomics Contacts:

MacDougall Biomedical Communications
Mario Brkulj or Dr. Stephanie May
Direct:  +49 89 2420 9345 or +48 89 2420 9344
E-Mail:  mbrkulj@macbiocom.com or smay@macbiocom.com

Dupont Pioneer Contacts:

Kerrey Kerr-Enskat                                                
+1 515-423-8251                                              
kerrey.kerr-enskat@pioneer.com