ATHENS,Pioneer Hi-Bred International will utilize crop technology from InsectiGen under a licensing deal, the companies said Thursday.

InsectiGen is a startup based in Athens. Pioneer Hi-Bred is a subsidiary of DuPont.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

InsectiGen utilizes BtBooster technology, which is patented, to produce crops that are more resistant to pests.

“This agreement is validation for our technology and years of hard work by our team,” said company President Bob Ligon. “A solid licensing agreement helps reduce the risk factor inherent with any start-up. We expect investors and the industry to start
taking notice of this development.”

Ligon joined InsectiGen after working as a Georgia Research Alliance Venture Fellow and helping InsectiGen draw up its business plan.

Michael Adang, who also serves as chief science officer at InsectiGen, developed InsectiGen’s technology at the University of Georgia. He is a professor of entomology, biochemistry and molecular biology. Donald Dean, a biochemistry professor at Ohio State University, is a scientific co-founder along with Adang. The company was launched in 2003.

The Georgia BioBusiness Center served as the incubator for InsectiGen.

“We’re excited about the possibilities this technology offers in order to help our customers maximize their harvestable yields and ultimately be more profitable,” said Jim Miller, vice president of DuPont Crop Genetics Research and Development.