Athenix, a developer of gene technology for use in protecting and improving crops, has landed a contract with international agribusiness giant Syngenta.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Syngenta contracted with Athenix to research potential development of protective products for corn and soybeans.

Athenix will screen its collection of genes for products that could combat a variety of pests. Syngenta will have the ownership rights to what the companies described as “corn and soybean transformation events” outside of Australian and New Zealand markets.

“We are pleased to work with a global agribusiness leader such as Syngenta to help bring our technical capabilities to commercialization,” said Athenix Chief Executive Officer Mike Koziel. “This research and subsequent product offerings are important steps to providing growers and companies with more pest management choices.”

Athenix recently announced progress in field trials of a herbicide-tolerant corn.

Syngentia is a global agribusiness firm with more than $8 billion in sales in 2006.