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Lavie Bio Provides Product Pipeline Update for 2020qrcode

−− LAV211 bio-stimulant advancing towards anticipated 2022 commercial launch in spring wheat; Product advancement achieved in multiple programs

Dec. 30, 2020

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Dec. 30, 2020

Lavie Bio Ltd. (Lavie Bio), a leading ag-biologicals company focusing on improving food quality, sustainability and agriculture productivity through the introduction of microbiome-based products, and a subsidiary of Evogene Ltd. (NASDAQ: EVGN) (TASE: EVGN), has announced an update on certain advancements achieved in its pipeline in 2020, including phase advancement of bio-stimulant LAV211, towards an anticipated commercial launch in 2022.


“Our commitment and main focus at Lavie Bio is to develop novel microbiome based ag-biological products, bio-pesticides & bio-stimulants that address the dire need for new tools to increase agriculture productivity while improving sustainability and food quality. 2020 was a remarkable year in our journey to achieve these targets,” stated Mr. Ido Dor, CEO of Lavie Bio.


Bio-stimulants pipeline:


LAV211 Bio-stimulant Targeting Spring Wheat – Initially targeting approximately 25 million acres of spring wheat in North America,[1] LAV211 is Lavie Bio’s leading product candidate in this program. According to Lavie Bio’s estimates, and assuming current agricultural commodity prices, a viable and effective bio-stimulant could generally be expected to provide farmers with additional value that translates to at least $20, on average, of income per farmed acre.


LAV211 is advancing into the pre-commercial phase, following field trials in target locations, meeting development criteria and outperforming trial controls, which included competitor benchmarks. Additionally, LAV211 received product registration approval this year in North Dakota and Montana, key target markets for growing spring wheat. Additional commercial scale trials are planned for 2021, in preparation for product launch planned for 2022. Lavie Bio intends to evaluate potential expansion of LAV211 to additional crops.


Bio-stimulant for Corn – This program is in the pre-development phase.[2] Following results obtained in recent seasons, a subset of candidates is expected to undergo further optimization and additional trials. In addition, during 2021, potential expansion opportunities of the candidates for additional crops are expected to be evaluated. Part of this program is under Lavie Bio’s collaboration with Corteva, Inc. (previously DuPont).[3]


Bio-pesticides pipeline:


LAV311 & LAV312 Targeting Bunch Rot Diseases – Chemical crop protection expenditure for bunch rot diseases is estimated at over $200 million annually.[4] Bio-fungicides LAV311 and LAV312 are designed to integrate into the farmer’s existing IPM (Integrated Pest Management) practices. Lavie Bio’s initial focus is on grapes and it intends to broaden this solution to other fruit.


As announced last month, LAV311 and LAV312 advanced to “Development Stage 2”.[5] This follows successful results in vineyard trials, conducted in target locations in Europe and the U.S. The trials’ results showed significantly better efficacy and consistency than existing comparable tested commercial biological benchmarks and were competitive to tested commercial chemical benchmarks. In 2021, Lavie Bio intends to further improve the formulation technology and fermentation protocol of LAV311 and LAV312 and expand these solutions to additional crops. Lavie Bio is targeting a product launch for 2024.


Bio-fungicides Targeting Downy Mildew – Downy mildew is a devastating disease with an urgent need for new solutions. Current chemical crop protection expenditure against downy mildew is estimated at over $350 million annually. Lavie Bio’s initial focus is on grapes and it intends to broaden its solution to other fruit and vegetable crops.


During 2020, Lavie Bio tested leading candidates that demonstrated positive preliminary results in field trials. Additional candidates were introduced into the pipeline and underwent lab and greenhouse testing. In 2021, select candidates are expected to be tested in target locations in Europe.


Bio-fungicides Targeting Seedling Diseases – The average annual expenditure for crop protection against seedling diseases is over $500 million, with leading commercial chemicals under regulatory pressure and resistance emergence posing a risk. Lavie Bio believes that biological solutions have the potential to play an important role in addressing these challenges. Lavie Bio’s initial focus is on corn and it intends to expand its solution to soybean and other crops.


In 2020, Lavie Bio’s new candidates were validated in lab and greenhouse trials with positive results. Leading candidates are undergoing further development with field testing planned for target locations during 2021.


Bio-insecticides Targeting Western Corn Root Worm (WCRW) – The annual overall expenditure on protection against WCRW, including genetically modified corn seed traits (biotech traits) and chemical insecticides, exceeds $1.5 billion.[6] Biological insecticides could be integrated into the farmer’s existing IPM either with biotech traits or combined with chemical solutions. During 2019-2020, Lavie Bio introduced additional candidates to its pipeline, which were validated in lab, greenhouse and field trials. In 2021, Lavie Bio expects to test leading candidates in multi-location fields in target territories and in parallel further optimize their formulations.


Mr. Ido Dor added: “The sustainable approach of ag-biologicals holds a significant promise for the future of agriculture, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this area. We are confident Lavie Bio has an excellent opportunity, powered by our Biology Driven Design (BDD) platform, to make a real impact for both growers and consumers and look forward to sharing our progress over the coming year, as our vision advances towards commercialization of our initial products.”


Mr. Ofer Haviv, Chairman of Lavie Bio and CEO & President of Evogene, stated: “We are pleased with the progress that Lavie Bio achieved in its product pipelines in 2020. The use of Lavie Bio’s computational BDD platform, powered by Evogene’s ‘MicroBoost AI’ engine, has led Lavie Bio to reach impressive achievements in multiple product pipelines. I am confident that Lavie Bio is on the right track to becoming a global leading ag-biologicals company, introducing multiple novel products in the coming years.”


[1] https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/86210/whs-17l.pdf?v=43083, pg. 18; Phillips McDougall, 2017, https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=3210035901.

[2] For more information, please see “Market Segments – Agriculture – Lavie Bio Ltd. – Product Development Programs – Product Development Cycle” under “Item B. Business Overview” in Evogene’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2019, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 27, 2020.

[3] For more information, please see “Market Segments – Agriculture – Lavie Bio Ltd. – Key Collaborations – Corteva” under “Item B. Business Overview” in Evogene’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2019, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 27, 2020.

[4] According to company estimates.

[5] For more information, please see “Market Segments – Agriculture – Lavie Bio Ltd. – Product Development Programs – Product Development Cycle” under “Item B. Business Overview” in Evogene’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2019, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 27, 2020.

[6] According to industry publications.


Source: Lavie Bio

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