Nov. 20, 2019
Leading wheat bio-stimulant candidate for spring wheat, exhibiting consistent performance, advancing to ‘development stage 2’, in line with Lavie Bio’s commercialization plans for 2022
Lavie Bio (Lavie), a subsidiary of Evogene (NASDAQ: EVGN, TASE: EVGN), aiming to improve food quality, sustainability and agriculture productivity through the introduction of microbiome based ag-biological products, announces phase advancement in its product development pipeline for wheat bio-stimulants. This follows the success of its leading wheat bio-stimulant candidate in demonstrating consistent performance across various locations and varieties at target markets. Lavie Bio is advancing its leading product candidate LAV211 into ‘development stage 2’, while continuing the development of its additional product candidates LAV212 and LAV213. The spring wheat bio-stimulants program is running in-line with the team’s expectations, and commercialization of the leading candidate is targeted for 2022.
Wheat is a highly important crop that accounts for a significant portion of the world’s diet. The global wheat flour market is expected to grow to $270 billion by 20221. In North America alone, 25 million acres of spring wheat are planted each year, largely in North Dakota and Western Canada2. This is a significant addressable market for Lavie Bio, whose wheat bio-stimulant products have the potential to increase farmer’s profits by $20-$50 per acre through yield gains.
This announcement follows a series of trials for Lavie Bio’s wheat bio-stimulants candidates, in which LAV211, which was prioritized for advancement, exhibited consistent positive results across commercial varieties in target locations, with advanced product formulation for extended shelf life. Overall, the fields treated with LAV211 showed significant yield improvement compared with controls and industry benchmarks with a ‘win rate’ in over 75% of the locations, with up to 25% yield improvement in top performing locations and an average improvement of ~6% (p value<0.05). Following these trials, which took place in North Dakota, a key target market for the Company, LAV211 is advancing to ‘development stage 2’. In parallel, Lavie Bio will further advance the development of LAV 212,213 as basis for future potential new products.
In terms of the next steps, a key focus will be continuing the development of scale-up production and application protocols, while maintaining LAV211’s product attributes such as, efficacy, shelf life and stability. Additionally, improvement of application protocols will facilitate ease of use for farmers, the targeted end-customers. These improvements will be tested in broader field trials during the next crop season in North America.
Ido Dor, CEO of Lavie Bio commented, “I am very pleased with the results of these additional field trials, which have now allowed us to advance in this product program. Our leading wheat bio-stimulant candidate has consistently demonstrated strong results, exhibiting improved crop yields, indicating that we are on the right path to meeting our targeted 2022 commercialization. I look forward to updating you as we proceed with our program.”