Evogene Announces Launch of Gene2Product(TM) Computational AgBio Platform

Evogene Announces Launch of Gene2Product(TM) Computational AgBio Platform 
Platform Designed to Improve Plant Trait Efficacy and Probability of
Success of Novel Seed Products by Optimizing 'Mode of Use' for Genes
of Interest 
REHOVOT, ISRAEL -- (Marketwire) -- 01/29/13 --  Evogene Ltd. (TASE:
EVGN), a leading developer of improved plant traits for the food,
feed and biofuel industries, announced today the launch of
Gene2Product(TM) version 1.0, a unique integrated computational
platform for improving trait efficacy by high throughput optimization
of gene function in the target crop ('mode of use') as part of the
development process for biotechnology seed products. Evogene has
already entered into agreements to utilize Gene2Product(TM) to
optimize the performance of certain genes it has discovered for use
in the development pipelines of its partners.  
In order to improve the performance of plants, research efforts in
the industry have focused primarily on various methodologies to
identify the genes that influence the traits of interest, such as
yield, drought tolerance, resistance to pests, etc. However, the
actual efficacy achieved in the field depends not only on the
presence or absence of the gene of interest, but on its optimization
with other factors related to the mode of use of such gene. Such
factors include: the choice of gene variant for the crop of interest,
its interactions with other genes, the tissues in which it is
expressed, its level and/or pattern of expression, its performance
under changing environmental conditions, and other factors.  
The Gene2Product(TM) Platform 1.0 provides a robust and high
throughput analysis of a large number of genes in parallel in order
to optimize their modes of use in the end product. This is
accomplished through the use of four interconnected sub-platforms,
with the fourth of these sub-platforms targeted for incorporation
later this year. Each of these sub-platforms relies on the use of
computational modules incorporating advanced algorithms to analyze
enormous amounts of relevant data from both public and proprietary
sources, with a current comprehensive database in excess of 250
terabytes and growing. This database includes more than 10 different
genomic and phenotypic data types originating from over 20
0 different
plant species.  
The sub-platforms incorporated in the Gene2Product(TM) Platform are
as follows: 


 
--  PlaNet (Plant Network) - Improves trait efficacy by predicting
    appropriate gene combinations, referred to in the seed industry as
    "gene stacking". Multi-gene stacking is expected to be a key solution
    for increasing trait efficacy when approaching complex traits, such as
    yield, which is an emerging need in the industry. The PlaNet
    sub-platform is designed to provide a set of genes predicted to
    jointly impact the trait when stacked, utilizing multiple interaction
    data layers across multiple species.

  
Through the simulation of efficacy, scoring and subsequent ranking of
millions of possible multiple gene interactions for a gene of
interest, possible stacking combinations are prioritized with respect
to their predicted ability to improve a given trait. This
sub-platform utilizes, in addition to the enormous amounts of plant
data, vast amounts of relevant protein interaction data from other
species such as yeast.   


 
--  GeneSpec (Gene Spectrum) - Improves trait efficacy by selecting the
    preferred functional gene variant for each gene of interest for the
    crop of interest. The GeneSpec sub-platform analyzes the entire gene
    variation spectrum (i.e. orthologous, alleles, etc.) for the gene of
    interest and selects the minimal number of variants representing the
    entire molecular functional divergence of the gene spectrum across
    species. This involves the identification and classification of up to
    1,000 possible variants per gene through the use of novel algorithms,
    according to sequence-function and other relationships. Following
    this, the sub-platform utilizes additional novel algorithms to
    prioritize the variants in each group according to their predicted
    ability to affect the trait of interest.
    
    
--  RePack (Regulation Package) - Improves trait efficacy by predicting
    the regulation mode for the gene of interest that will provide the
    optimal expression pattern. This includes prediction of where in the
    plant expression would be beneficial and where it would be undesired
    in respect of tissue, organ, timing, level of expression and other
    aspects that can impact trait efficacy. The RePack sub-platform uses
    advanced visualization tools and algorithms to provide insights from
    various plant species on the expression patterns for a specific gene
    and its orthologs in specific tissue, treatment and development stage
    in order to predict the optimal expression pattern for the gene to
    improve the trait of interest in the target crop.
    
    
--  GeneDex (Gene Index) - Targeted for incorporation in
    Gene2Product(TM) during 2013, GeneDex is designed to improve trait
    efficacy by predicting functional robustness of a gene across
    different genetic backgrounds (i.e. germplasms) and environmental
    conditions. GeneDex will provide multiple relative index scores for
    each gene predicting such gene's contributions with respect to each
    trait of interest across different combinations of such variables.

  
"We have been extremely pleased by the rapid recognition and
appreciation of our ATHLETE(TM) gene discovery platform by leading
AgBio companies, as evidenced by our large and growing number of
collaborations with such companies for the most important food crops
worldwide. Now, with the addition of our complementary
Gene2Product(TM) computational platform, we see the opportunity to
achieve very substantial improvement in utilizing these discoveries
for both greater trait efficacy and probability of success with
biotechnology seed products", stated Dr. Hagai Karchi, Evogene's EVP
Development and CTO.  
Mr. Ofer Haviv, Evogene's P
resident and CEO, added: "We are pleased
to report that Gene2Product(TM) has been successfully implemented in
certain of our in-house programs and in our on-going research and
development collaboration with Monsanto Company and other partners.
Furthermore, we believe it will become a 'must have' component in all
of our plant improvement activities".  
About Evogene
 Evogene is a world leading discoverer and developer of
improved plant traits through the use of integrated plant genomics.
Combining proprietary state-of-the-art computational genomic
technologies with advanced breeding methods, the company's discovery
infrastructure provides a complete solution for plant trait
improvement to its four market focused operating divisions: Yield and
abiotic stress, Biotic stress, Ag-chemicals and Biofuels. In addition
to its internal programs, Evogene is collaborating with world leading
seed companies to introduce its improved plant traits into key
commercial crops under milestone and royalty bearing agreements.
Evogene, listed for trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE:
EVGN), is headquartered in Rehovot. For additional information,
please visit Evogene's website at www.evogene.com 
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" relating to
future events. These statements may be identified by words such as
"may", "expects", "intends", "anticipates", "plans", "believes",
"scheduled", "estimates" or words of similar meaning. Such statements
are based on current expectations, estimates, projections and
assumptions, describe opinions about future events, involve certain
risks and uncertainties which are difficult to predict and are not
guarantees of future performance. Therefore, actual future results,
performance or achievements of Evogene may differ materially from
what is expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements due
to a variety of factors, many of which beyond Evogene's control,
including, without limitation, those risk factors contained in
Evogene's reports filed with the Israeli Securities Authority.
Evogene disclaims any obligation or commitment to update these
forward-looking statements to reflect future events or developments
or changes in expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. 
Contact Information
Evogene: 
Liat Cinamon 
Director of IR&PR
E-mail: liat.cinamon@evogene.com 
Tel: +972-8-931-1933