Evogene releases financial results, announces Brazil agreement

By Erin Voegele | March 27, 2014

Israel-based Evogene Ltd. has released its 2013 financial results, signed an agreement for the commercial production of castor beans in Brazil and announced enhanced capabilities for gene stacking prediction with the introduction of PlaNet (Plant Networks) version 2.0 computational platform.

Evogene is a plant genomics company active in the biofuel, food and feed industries. Its wholly owned subsidiary Evofuel aims to develop and supply castor seeds as a feedstock for biopolymers and biofuel.

On March 19, Evogene released its financial results, reporting revenues of $17.6 million, up from $17.1 million the previous year. The company noted its revenues currently consist primarily of research and development payments generated under its various yield and A-biotic related collaboration agreements with seed companies.

Cost of revenues for 2013 was $10.1 million, up from $9.6 million in 2012. Research and development expenses for last year were $3.5 million, up from $2.1 million the previous year. General and administrative expenses were $3.6 million compared to $2.2 million in 2012. Evogene reported an operating loss of $8.7 million last year, compared to an operating loss of $3.1 million in 2012. Total comprehensive loss was $8.96 million, up from a total comprehensive loss of $2.5 million the previous year.

“This past year has been extremely positive for Evogene, as we continued to build and expand our business, with significant achievements in each of our four product-focused operating areas and important enhancements to our unique discovery and development infrastructure. In addition, we significantly added to our financial strength with the completion of an initial public offering in the United States and listing on the New York Stock Exchange, raising gross proceeds of approximately $85 million,” said Ofer Haviv, president and CEO of Evogene, in a statement.

On March 25, the company announced Evofuel has signed a collaboration agreement with SLC Agricola S.A. for the commercial production of Evofuel-developed castor bean varieties in Brazil. Production of the feedsock for biofuel production and other industrial uses is expected to begin in 2016.

Under terms of the agreement, Evofuel will provide SLC with seeds of its proprietary castor bean varieties and SLC will grow the crop on its farms in northeast Brazil. According to information released by Evogene, the agreement follows three years of successful field trials, which demonstrated the suitability and economic benefits of growing Evofuel castor bean varieties during the drier season on a rotation basis with soybeans.

Earlier in the month, Evogene announced an upgraded version of its PlaNet computation platform, which includes more than doubling of the platform’s interaction data sources and types, along with improved algorithms for data analysis. The updated platform allows enhanced capabilities for gene stacking production, which refers to the combination of multiple genes to improve a particular plant trait, or several traits, to enhance the productivity of seed products via either biotechnology or advanced breeding applications.

“PlaNet forms an integral part of our proposition to our partners and is currently being adopted across our main product programs,” Haviv said. “Furthermore, Evogene is already in advance stages of development of the next generation of our gene stacking capabilities with a mining platform that will allow us to evaluate and prioritize multi-gene combinations at the initiation of the gene selection process.”