Monsanto and Atlas Venture Enter Alliance to Invest in Innovative Life Sciences Companies

Will combine expertise to identify early-stage companies and emerging technologies

ST. LOUIS and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) and Atlas Venture, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Cambridge, Mass., today announced an agreement to enter a multi-year collaboration to explore investment opportunities in early-stage life sciences technology companies.

Under the agreement, Monsanto will work with Atlas to identify strategic investments in a number of technology focus areas within agriculture to support and complement Monsanto's interests and potential growth areas, including genomics, informatics and biology.  For Atlas, this collaboration provides access to technology capabilities and insight that bring a unique perspective to its investment process.

"As we work with farmers to help meet the needs of our growing planet, continued innovation is critical," said Steve Padgette, Monsanto's research and development investment strategy lead.  "Our collaboration with Atlas will provide a great opportunity for us to get an early look at promising new technologies that could potentially be introduced into our biotechnology, breeding and agronomic practices work to drive yields even further."

Monsanto has partnered with Atlas because of the company's strong experience and investment history within the life sciences industry and across the technology areas of interest. For Atlas, Monsanto's technology expertise and leadership in research and development will help support investment decisions. The alliance will add two professionals working closely with the Atlas and Monsanto teams to identify investment opportunities and secure technical diligence in the areas of interest.

"By applying Monsanto's research-based approach to innovation in agriculture to evaluating new life sciences technologies, we'll be able to access technology platforms and deep expertise right from the beginning of the company building process," said Jean-Francois Formela, a partner at Atlas Venture.  "The collaboration is truly synergistic and leverages each group's core competency and expertise."

"At Monsanto, we have a strong history of collaborating with a diverse group of public and private partners worldwide," Padgette added. "We look forward to continuing this tradition of partnering as we work to bring innovative technologies to farmers."

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

About Atlas Venture

Atlas Venture is a leading early-stage international venture capital firm that invests in technology and life sciences businesses. Since inception in 1980, its partners have helped build over 350 companies in more than 16 different countries.  For more information visit Atlas' website at www.atlasventure.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/MonsantoCo, on Facebook® at www.facebook.com/MonsantoCo, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

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