Biotalys Achieves Breakthrough for Biofungicide Development

Published online: Feb 02, 2022 Articles, Fungicide, New Products
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Biotalys, an ag tech company protecting crops and food with protein-based biocontrol solutions, achieved a breakthrough in protein expression of the bioactive ingredient of its first biocontrol product Evoca. The breakthrough has the potential to transform Evoca from a market calibration tool into a product providing commercial value at competitive efficacy and cost to growers at the horizon of 2026, pending field trial studies, registration and upscaling. 

Biotalys’s first protein-based biocontrol, Evoca aims to help growers to protect crops against Botrytis and powdery mildew in integrated pest management (IPM) programs. Based on existing production costs, this biofungicide has been developed as a market calibration product, pending registration approval first in the U.S. by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is expected in the second half of 2022. Market calibration within high-value crops in the U.S. market is the purpose of an agreement that Biotalys recently entered into with Biobest. 

Building on Biotalys’s AGROBODY Foundry technology platform, the company’s strain engineering and manufacturing teams have now used its state-of-the-art protein expression toolbox to achieve more than a 500% increase in production, representing an unprecedented achievement for the active protein of Evoca in the yeast Pichia pastoris. The company continues to work with leading industry players in the synthetic biology field to further develop enhanced production methods, exploring a broad variety of fermentation hosts. Biotalys intends to leverage this significant improvement and the method of producing AGROBODY bioactives to expand its intellectual property portfolio.

“Biotalys is excited about this result and very proud of the team innovation effort and creativity to boost expression levels through the application of different components of Biotalys’s biotech toolbox,” says Biotalys chief operating officer Luc Maertens. “While continuing to optimize internally the protein expression, we are currently in parallel validating this result at scale with our manufacturing partners and believe a next generation of Evoca, based on the same AGROBODY bioactive, with substantially higher production efficiencies, now has the potential to create a product at commercial value at competitive efficacy and cost for growers.”

The company is evaluating the impact on its current activities and will communicate implications in due course.

Evoca is still pending registration. This product is not currently registered for sale or use in the United States, the European Union, or elsewhere, and is not yet being offered for sale.