Plant Health Care issued the progress on new technology builds momentum
Jun. 8, 2016
Plant Health Care,a leading provider of novel patent-protected biological products to global agriculture markets, recently commented on the progress it is making in building a portfolio of PREtec (Plant Response Elicitor technology) platforms, each of which has the potential to generate a pipeline of biological products to deliver significant increases in crop yields.
* The first platform, Innatus 3G, under contract with four industry majors, has entered its second year of evaluation.
* Innatus 3G peptides have previously been shown to raise yields in corn and soybean. More recent trials now show nematode suppression and resistance to plant diseases also.
* These performance attributes are strategic in-licensing targets for industry majors. Innatus 3G's demonstrated performance has led to partner interest in broadening their existing evaluation agreements.
* Beyond Innatus 3G, two distinctive new 3G peptide platforms have been characterised and patents filed. This is sooner than the Company had previously expected.
* One of these new 3G peptide platforms is expected to be presented to potential partners during the second half of 2016 with the target of achieving a revenue generating event during 2017.
* In addition to 3G, Plant Health Care is now actively seeking partners for its 4G genetic technology.
Paul Schmidt, CEO of Plant Health Care, commented: "When we first embarked on our search for novel plant signal chemistry to deliver plant health and crop protection benefits we were building on nearly 20 years of our company's research and expertise."
"We started with the hope of designing a few promising peptides. Today we find ourselves in the business of developing whole technology platforms, each one able to generate a portfolio of viable biological products. We have now characterised three such platforms, with a fourth on the way."
"The continuing activity of majors in evaluating our first platform, Innatus 3G, is testament to the industry's focus on finding biologicals that deliver high performance and will work alongside their established product ranges. We are working towards announcing an expansion of our current joint activities in the next few months. We anticipate initiating the first competitive licensing process for Innatus 3G at the end of 2017."
"Momentum continues to build. We will be presenting our second 3G platform to potential partners during the second half of 2016. Meanwhile, we have made progress ahead of plan on our longer term 4G technology, in which our peptides are made by genes within modified crop plants. We recently opened discussions with a number of parties on possible future technology licences in this genetics space. Our target is to conclude a revenue-generating event with at least one of these technologies during 2017."
Recent trials results of Innatus 3G:
Of global importance in agriculture are the soy cyst nematodes (SCN) that depress soybean yields, and the root knot nematodes (RKN) that particularly affect specialty crops. The market for nematode control products is around $1bn pa. Industry majors are seeking new biological products that will deliver effective control.
Greenhouse trials conducted for the Company by universities have shown impressive performance by certain Innatus 3G peptides in the control of SCN and RKN. For example:
* Tomato plants inoculated with RKN had 90% fewer eggs after being sprayed with Innatus 3G compared to untreated controls.
* Soybeans, inoculated with SCN, showed 45% fewer cysts and eggs if they had been treated as seeds with Innatus 3G.
* Innatus 3G was compared with three currently marketed biological products against nematodes, and performed better than all of them.
Induced resistance to disease
The control of plant diseases is a huge global market, with fungicide usage alone constituting around $15 bn pa. Innatus 3G peptides are not pesticides but they can induce a defensive response in plants that helps crops resist attack by economically important pathogens.
Greenhouse trials conducted for us by universities and other specialist contractors have shown that, when combined with standard agricultural products, Innatus 3G peptides can boost and extend disease management. This could potentially reduce the application frequency of pesticides used.
* An Innatus 3G peptide applied to soybean plants in combination with chemical fungicides boosted control of the Asian Soybean Rust Phakospora pachyrhizi to 95%.
* Against Xanthomonas perforans (a bacterial pathogen of tomatoes) the leading Innatus 3G peptide delivered 95% reduction of disease when applied in combination with the biological product Actigard.
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