Copenhagen, Denmark, March 9, 2021 / PRNewswire / – BioPhero, the insect pheromones company, announced today that it has increased $ 17 million in Series A financing under the direction of DCVC Bio with the participation of the new investor FMC Ventures and the existing investors Syngenta Group Ventures and Novo Holdings. The company, which has set itself the goal of replacing many chemical insecticides with sustainable organic insect pheromones, will use these funds to boost production of multiple products, producing pheromones in the amount, quality and price that farmers need larger pests can control a wide variety of row crops.
Because pheromones are non-toxic, they can be a powerful tool in achieving the goal of insect pest control while avoiding the negative environmental and biodiversity effects associated with overuse of synthetic chemicals. Pheromones are naturally produced by insects, but can also be used very effectively to control the build-up of pest populations in farmers’ fields by disrupting their mating process. They are very sustainable as they are insect specific and non-toxic. Not only can they replace the use of insecticides, but they can also reduce overuse by helping prevent resistance to both chemical insecticides and genetically modified seeds.
After the seed round in 2018, BioPhero developed and expanded new and efficient production methods for insect pheromones using microbial fermentation. The production processes use renewable resources, produce less waste than traditional chemical synthesis and – crucially – are able to deliver insect pheromones at the cost, quality and volume required for row crops such as wheat, corn, rice and soybeans. BioPhero has successfully shown that it can produce pheromones on a tonnage scale. The company is now ready to begin manufacturing its first product and making it available to customers and development partners around the world.
We want to offer farmers a new option: to protect their crops with biological insect pheromones instead of having to rely on insecticides. In row crops, this was previously not possible due to the high cost of pheromones. We at BioPhero have shown that we can overcome this cost barrier. We are excited to continue to attract such high quality investors and see this as evidence of the success we have had in developing and scaling up organic pheromone production and providing new options for growers
Kristian Ebbensgaard, CEO of BioPhero
Unlike insecticides, insects do not develop resistance to insect pheromones because they are produced by females to attract males to mate and are not a single target that evolution can easily overcome. Insect pheromones are highly effective, have an exemplary safety record, and do not harm pollinators or other non-target insects.
“We have been researching the uses of insect pheromones in agriculture and new startups in the field for many years. To date, no company has succeeded in producing pheromones at a cost and scale suitable for global use,” he said John Hamer, Co-Managing Partner, DCVC Bio. “BioPhero’s patented breakthrough platform is the only one that offers the cost structure, manufacturing flexibility and quality that enable pheromones to be used in large row crops.”
BioPhero is a pioneer in the production of pheromones, which are used as extremely sustainable and environmentally friendly active ingredients in products for
Pest control in agriculture. Our vision is to make agriculture more sustainable by using pheromones to effectively control pests in large row crops. BioPhero has developed and expanded a proprietary biological production platform based on yeast fermentation. We have assembled a dedicated, world-class team with expertise in metabolic engineering, fermentation, chemistry and process development.
BioPhero was founded in 2016 by Prof. Irina Borodina as a technology spin-out from the Technical University Denmark BioPhero is also a member of the consortium in the EU-funded OLEFINE and PHERA projects. Read more at www.biophero.com
For more information, please contact:
Kristian Ebbensgaard, THE PRESIDENT