Dec. 14, 2016
Inocucor Technologies Inc. announced that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has registered its first two specialty ag biological products for use by Canadian farmers and greenhouse growers. Synergro™ is a live-cell formulation for high-value produce, such as strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce and broccoli. Synergro Free™ is a cell-free bio-fertilizer additive to existing plant nutrients for commodity row crops, such as soybean, corn and wheat.
Inocucor's first-in-class, state-of-the-art biological products are among the first microbial products of their kind to be registered in Canada. The company's proprietary microbial consortia technology is uniquely suited to respond to agriculture's emerging focus on sustainable, rather than non-organic chemical, crop inputs.
"Our technology is unique in the agricultural sector because it harnesses the power of beneficial microbes that occur in nature. Through the company’s proprietary fermentation process, these microbial products and their active bio-molecules give farmers new tools that naturally improve soil health and increase crop yields," said Donald R. Marvin, president and CEO of Inocucor.
Registration of its products in Canada opens up a vast new market for Inocucor. Until now, both products have been sold or used in major field trials only in the U.S., where Synergro is registered in 22 states, and Synergro Free is registered in 16 states.
Inocucor's first products have been produced at its 10,000-square-foot R&D and pilot production laboratories at Technoparc Montreal. Both products are designed to fit into standard agriculture practices. They can be tank mixed with macro/micronutrients and herbicides and applied as a seed drench, in furrow side dressing, or as a drip irrigation and foliar spray on farms or in greenhouses.
Marvin said Inocucor has documented four years of enhanced yield increases and improved soil health through field trials and demonstrations conducted with commercial partners and customers in the U.S. and Canada. The company also collaborates with academic partners that include McGill University, the University of Georgia and Clemson University, and with major agri-chem companies and distributors of ag inputs on product testing and development.
Inocucor's core technology was developed in 2007 by two Montreal scientists, Dr. Margaret Bywater–Ekegärd and Ananda Lynn Fitzsimmons, who believed that microbial, rather than chemical, solutions would be needed to help farmers feed a growing world population.
The company has attracted investment from Cycle Capital Management, a respected Canadian venture capital firm focused on the clean-tech sector, Desjardins-Innovatech, the venture capital unit of one of North America's leading financial institutions, and two U.S-based family offices.
In November 2015, Inocucor was issued patent No. 9,175,258 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect Inocucor’s microbial consortia technology, fermentation process, and unique microbial products. That initial patent is now in the process of issuing in major jurisdictions around the world.
The company is currently completing a Series B equity financing round on the order of $10 to $12 million with venture capital, institutional and family office investors. Proceeds from this financing will be used to open a U.S.-based commercialization office to support the company’s growing base of customers and commercial partners.