The North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative (N.C. PSI), a global hub for plant science innovation, has entered into a research and facilities collaboration with Oerth Bio, an agricultural biotechnology company developing targeted protein degraders for plants. Oerth Bio will be the first company to conduct independent research at N.C. PSI, and the first company to occupy the rooftop greenhouse facility.
Oerth’s novel degrader technology aims to set a new standard in crop protection solutions, as the company develops PROTAC® degraders for weed control, disease control, insect control, and crop efficiency. The technology combines powerful farm efficacy with next-generation environmental sustainability. It is designed to deliver unparalleled safety of food and farm, while achieving superior field performance for farmers. Optimizing Oerth Bio’s pioneering technology requires specialized greenhouse, laboratory, and field resources to safely and efficiently test against multiple plant and pest species. The N.C. PSI facility uniquely meets these needs with state-of-the-art, climate-controlled greenhouses, biosafety level 2 and 3 containment, a research track sprayer, and on-site microscopy and mass spectrometry core facilities. Furthermore, the extensive field station network at North Carolina State University can provide critical testing support to advance Oerth’s most promising leads.
"We're thrilled to welcome Oerth Bio into the Plant Sciences Building to continue our long-standing partnership, now under the same roof,″ said Dr. Adrian Percy, Executive Director of the N.C. PSI. ″Their presence in the greenhouse facility exemplifies the entrepreneurial intention of the N.C. PSI where students, postdocs, and cross-disciplinary faculty interact with an industry partner in formal and informal ways that will hopefully lead to plant science breakthroughs.″
The research collaboration builds on a longstanding relationship between the two organizations. John Dombrosky, Oerth Bio’s CEO, sits on the N.C. PSI External Advisory Board while Adrian Percy sits on Oerth’s Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Paul Bernasconi, Oerth’s Chief Scientific Officer, said ″N.C. PSI is an ideal innovation partner, aligning with Oerth’s vision for a collaborative approach utilizing cross-functional experts from academia, industry, and business.″
The agreement unlocks the potential for Oerth to showcase PROTAC® degraders and their utility in sustainable agriculture while providing N.C. PSI a unique research focus in plant science. Dr. Paul Ingram, Oerth’s Director of Product Performance spearheaded the research collaboration and celebrates the collaborative approach, ″N.C. PSI’s infrastructure, facilities, and network of scientific experts are an excellent fit for Oerth Bio and will allow us to conduct high-quality experiments across all of our research interests.″
Oerth Bio plans to take residency of the new facility in Spring 2023.
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