Biotalys & Novozymes Evoke Product Partnership For Evoca
Evoca, Biotalys’ new environmentally friendly biofungicide, isn’t approved yet. But the company already has formed a collaboration to investigate future uses of the protein-based product.
The Belgium-based food and crop protection company has entered into a partnership with Novozymes to expand the opportunities for Evoca, according to the two businesses. Novozymes, headquartered in Denmark, is the world’s largest provider of enzyme and microbial technologies targeted at agriculture and a variety of other industries.
The partnership calls for Novozymes to use its knowledge, intellectual property and technical know-how to explore new ways to use the bioactive protein in Evoca, with the option to commercialize a future generation of the product. That would open up future opportunities for development, supply and commercialization agreements.
“We are excited to enter into this agreement with Novozymes, a global leader in biological solutions for the agricultural and other industries,” said Patrice Sellès, Biotalys CEO. “With its vast expertise in enzymes and protein fermentation technologies, Novozymes represents a strong partner to support the growth ambitions of Biotalys towards offering growers globally a cost efficient and effective future generation of Evoca.”
Thomas Batchelor, vice president of Agriculture Marketing and Strategy at Novozymes, said the partnership “is potentially a good complement to our own pipeline of enzyme and microbial solutions, as well as our existing commercial biocontrol portfolio.”
Evoca was developed on Biotalys’ AGROBODY Foundry platform that helps control fungal diseases such as Botrytis and powdery mildew in fruits and vegetables.
The biofungicide can offer U.S. growers new ways to protect their harvests that improve yields and extend shelf life, while reducing dependence on chemical pesticides. Biotalys said the product already has been tested in more than 600 independent and company-driven field and greenhouse trials across multiple regions, diseases and crops.
Evoca is expected to get U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval later this year, which Biotalys said would pave the way for the regulatory assessment of other candidates in its pipeline that include biofungicides, biobactericides and bio-insecticides.
Evoca already attracting global attention
In May, Evoca received the World BioProtection Award for Best Biofungicide. Selection was based on innovation, scientific value and market potential. The recognition came from the World BioProtection Forum, a nonprofit organization that encourages collaboration between industry and academia in the agricultural technology sector.
The product also won Crop Protection Solution of the Year and Overall Food Quality Solution of the Year in the 2020 AgTech Breakthrough Awards program.
Biotalys and Novozymes active in NC
Biotalys was founded in 2013 as a spinoff from the Flanders Institute or Biotechnology in Ghent, Belgium. It opened its U.S. headquarters in 2020 in the Landing Pad at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park. That office – an important hub for Biotalys’ U.S. operations – was established to support the launch of Evoca, according to the company.
Novozymes also has a significant presence in North Carolina. It maintains its North American headquarters in Franklinton and an R&D facility in the Research Triangle. The company employs around 900 people in the state.