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Biotalys starts field testing for biofungicide

Belgian AgTech specialist Biotalys BV an Agricultural Technology (AgTech) company has initiated field trials for BioFun-6, the company’s second llama-antibody-mimicking biofungicide program.

The protein-based biofungicide is under development of the company’s Agrobody technology platform for sustainable biocontrols as an alternative to chemical pesticides. Biotalys is using the DNA design of naturally-occurring antibodies to inspire the creation of similar proteins with the same fungal-fighting properties, through fermentation. Kevin Helash, Chief Executive Officer of Biotalys, commented: “As our first product candidate, EVOCA™, progresses through the needed regulatory process and its commercial version EVOCA NG enters its final development stage with our partner Novonesis, we will continue to build our strong pipeline of biofungicides and bioinsecticides to help growers in their transition towards more sustainable practices.” Novogenesis has invested €10m in Biotalys back in 2020.

BioFun-6 is a biofungicide targeting the crop pathogens Botrytis cineria, powdery mildew and anthracnose in high-value fruits and vegetables. Biotalys has developed several candidate bioactive ingredients for BioFun-6 on its platform, and the company will now test one of the lead molecules in field trials starting in May 2024. The company will collaborate withpartners such as contract research organisations that will perform these trials. The first round of field trials will focus on grapes and tomatoes in Europe, with initial results expected by the end of this year.
Biotalys was founded in 2013 as a spin-off from the VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) and has been listed on Euronext Brussels since July 2021. The company is based in the biotech cluster in Ghent, Belgium. .