LANSING, Mich., Jan. 13, 2014 — Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) announced today that it has licensed patents owned by Cargill, Inc. and Branhaven LLC considered key for genomic evaluation to improve traits in beef and dairy cattle. The technology, known as BeefGen, identifies key genomic tools to improve both meat and milk production.
“This agreement allows Neogen unencumbered access to extensive cattle genomic analytic and bioinformatic knowledge amassed by Cargill researchers and their partners,” said Dr. Jason Lilly, Neogen’s vice president of corporate development. “This access to the intellectual property developed by one of the world’s largest protein producers through years of research should significantly add to our efforts to continue providing the most useful and innovative animal genomic tools for worldwide cattle producers.”
Neogen, through its GeneSeek subsidiary, will use the licensed technology as it continues to work with cattle seed stock breeders, cow/calf operators, feedlot operators, and dairy producers to improve their herds through genetic-based scientific data that will be used for selection of future animal generations.
“Cargill is excited to enter into this license agreement with Neogen to ensure that the work started over a decade ago by Cargill and its partners is utilized in the market place more broadly. The genetic testing and bioinformatic application of thousands of cattle made the technology and its patents possible,” said George Kwasniak, Cargill’s vice president of business development. “With Neogen’s already existing business we believe this will allow them to effectively leverage the years of work done by Cargill and its partners.”
For beef producers, these genetic tools help identify animals best suited to optimize weight gain, tenderness, carcass quality, and meat yields that are critical in the maximization of value of each animal harvested. Furthermore, the technology assists in identifying genetically superior animals for breeding purposes that will in turn produce high quality offspring.
Dairy cattle producers and the dairy industry also benefit from the technology by receiving critical information that helps identify animals likely to produce milk of superior quality, and improve overall milk production efficiency.
Specific terms of the license agreement were not disclosed.
Neogen Corporation develops and markets products dedicated to food and animal safety. Neogen’s animal genomics businesses, GeneSeek and Igenity, provide value-added services to leading agricultural genetics providers, large national cattle associations, companion animal breed registries, university researchers, and numerous commercial cattle producers. For more information, visit www.neogen.com.
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and nearly 150 years of experience. We have 142,000 employees in 67 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.
Branhaven LLC acquired MetaMorphix, Incorporated’s interests in the assets resulting from the joint development effort with Cargill on this technology (pursuant to MetaMorphix’s bankruptcy proceedings).