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AgroSavfe receives € 1.9 million grant to support R&D of Agrobodiesqrcode

May. 31, 2013

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May. 31, 2013
AgroSavfe announces that it will receive a € 1.9 million grant (ca. USD 2.4 million) from IWT, the Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders. The grant will support R&D activities on Agrobody-based crop protection products to control fungal diseases on potato and tomato.

AgroSavfe is establishing the Agrobody™ technology platform to develop novel formulations that improve performance and sustainability of crop protection products.  Agrobody™ are derived from camelid heavy chain antibodies that are stable and can be cost-effectively produced in large volumes. These qualities, together with the ease of generating Agrobodies™ with desired affinity and specificity, make them highly suitable for agrochemical formulations.

The Agrobody™ technology platform allows for a rapid and efficient selection of Agrobodies™ that bind to leaves, seeds and fruits to prevent and control weeds, pests and diseases. Agrobodies™ can be used in formulations to improve retention and to target crop protection products to the site of action, thereby enhancing performance, or reducing application dosages or application frequencies. AgroSavfe is conducting several R&D projects to explore the potential of the  Agrobody™ technology platform.

Marnix Peferoen, CEO of AgroSavfe says: “We are extremely pleased with the IWT funding. First of all, it is a strong endorsement of the AgroSavfe concept to develop Agrobody™-based crop protection products. The funding itself will support a 2 year project on Agrobody™-based control of late blight disease (Phytophthora infestans) and grey mold disease (Botrytis cinerea) on potato and tomato, respectively”.

Typically, control of late blight on potato requires weekly applications of fungicides during major part of the growing cycle. AgroSavfe develops Agrobody™ that will improve retention of fungicides to potato leaves and provide extended control of late blight disease, thereby reducing the number of fungicide applications and the overall fungicide use. Botrytis cinerea affects many plant species and is a serious disease on grapes, strawberries and vegetables. As Botrytis is infecting through dead plant tissue, AgrobodiesTM are being selected that allow targeting of fungicides to those parts of the plant that are most susceptible to Botrytis, thereby reducing application dosage and residues while preserving performance.

The KU Leuven Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics – Plant Fungus Interactions (CMPG-PFI) group of Prof. Bruno Cammue will conduct all pathogenic studies and the Spray Tech Group of ILVO leaded by Dr. David Nuyttens will develop setups for application and retention studies of AgrobodyTM-based crop protection products.

Source: AgroSavfe

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