Trade Resources Company News Pairwise Plants Raises $25m Funding to Speed up Crop Innovation

Pairwise Plants Raises $25m Funding to Speed up Crop Innovation

Tags: Pairwise, Crop

Pairwise Plants has closed a $25m Series A funding round co-led by Deerfield Management and Monsanto Growth Ventures (MGV), the venture capital arm of Monsanto to accelerate crop innovation.

Pairwise is an agricultural company focused on using gene editing and leveraging natural diversity in agricultural crops in new ways to address global food challenges.

The company will be led by Dr. Tom Adams, chief executive officer (CEO), and Dr. Haven Baker, chief business officer, with founders Drs. Feng Zhang, David Liu and J. Keith Joung, each a preeminent expert and inventor of gene-editing technologies.

Together this team brings unparalleled expertise to Pairwise.

Pairwise founder Keith Joung said: “My co-founders and I believe the technologies we have each been developing can have a profound impact in plant agriculture and will speed innovation that is badly needed to feed a growing population amid challenging conditions created by a changing climate.”

Pairwise has licensed programmable base editing technology from Harvard University and will be developing new gene-editing applications that Pairwise intends to make available to a wide array of food and agriculture companies spanning row and specialty crops, fruits and vegetables.

Incoming Pairwise CEO Tom Adams said: “Our world needs healthier, more affordable, more convenient and more sustainable food.

“Our goal is to solve agriculture problems across a wide range of food systems that are also acknowledged social problems – including food waste, food security and nutrition, and to enable other companies worldwide to benefit from gene editing through technology licensing and collaboration.”

The industry-leading work of the Pairwise founders, and the unique ability of these experts to work together toward the goal of advancing innovation in agriculture, appealed to investors.

Deerfield Management principal Cam Wheeler said: “Deerfield has experience in gene-editing technology for human health and we see Pairwise as an opportunity to engage leading scientists in gene editing to create a truly unique company that will benefit agriculture and society.”

MGV is one of the most active investors in agriculture.

MGV investment director Kiersten Stead said: “Part of Monsanto’s commitment to modern agriculture is recognizing and accelerating innovation by investing in best-in-class startup companies.

“We are excited to establish a new independent company that will create innovative new products to benefit consumers, farmers and the environment – both in grains and underbred crops.”

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