Debra Leith

Special Counsel
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Cooley advises Evolutionary Genomics in its partnership with Dole Food Company

August 27, 2020

Cooley advised Evolutionary Genomics (EG), an agricultural biotech company engaged in crop improvement through gene identification, in all contractual and intellectual property aspects of its partnership with Dole Food Company to develop and commercialize banana plant varieties resistant to a fungus that threatens to devastate the global supply of bananas, the most grown and consumed fruit in the world.

EG discovered a gene found in wild banana varieties that are resistant to a widespread strain of Fusarium fungus which has decimated global plantations of the most common commercial banana variety, Cavendish. Under the agreement, EG will use the gene to develop Cavendish-based varieties that restore the plant's natural ability to fight the pathogen. Upon successful completion, Dole will test the resulting plants in field trials and then embark on broad commercialization under a licensing agreement with EG.

Related contacts

Chris Holly
Partner, Washington, DC
Debra Leith
Special Counsel, Seattle
Jong-Jin (JJ) Han
Patent Agent, Washington, DC

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