Monsanto Invests in Pairwise after Cofounding CRISPR Startup

Pairwise Plants has raised a $25 million Series A round co-led by Monsanto Growth Ventures and healthcare investment firm Deerfield Management.

Pairwise is a gene-editing company that has licensed programmable base editing technology from Harvard University, which will leverage various CRISPR-based technologies to create new crop varieties with favorable traits. The startup was founded in-house by Monsanto Growth Ventures and some of the foremost scientists behind the fundamentals of gene-editing. 

Pairwise will work exclusively with Monsanto in corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and canola crops. Under the companies’ collaboration and licensing agreement, Monsanto will contribute $100 million to access and develop Pairwise IP in row crop applications, including an option to commercialize products resulting from the research collaboration.

Kiersten Stead of Monsanto Growth Ventures told AgFunderNews that Pairwise will have the capability to bring gene-editing to crops beyond the row crops that most gene-editing research has focused on to date.

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