Biotalys, Syngenta Collaborate to Control Agricultural Pests

As ag tech businesses around the world seek better and more environmentally sound ways to protect food crops from disease and pests, two companies with a major presence in North Carolina have decided to work together to find solutions.

Biotalys, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, will collaborate with global agricultural giant Syngenta Crop Protection to develop new biological control methods that can manage pests in a broad variety of crops, the companies announced.

Biotalys, founded in 2013, is the U.S. subsidiary of Belgium-based food and crop protection company Biotalys NV. It opened its U.S. headquarters in 2020 in the Landing Pad at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. 

Syngenta, formed in 2000 by the merger of Novartis Agribusiness and Zeneca Agrochemicals, has its crop protection headquarters in Greensboro and a research and development center in Research Triangle Park. ChemChina, a chemical company owned by the Chinese government, bought the company in 2017. Syngenta is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.

The two ag-focused companies plan to work together to research, develop and commercialize new biocontrol solutions – using Biotalys’ AGROBODY protein-based technology – that go after specific insect targets identified by Syngenta. AGROBODYbiotalys logo deploys a unique mode of action that can help farmers counter the threat of pest resistance, while advancing sustainable agriculture.

Growing resistance to traditional crop control chemicals, along with increasing regulatory and environmental pressures, are encouraging growers to look for new more environmentally sound biological ways of dealing with agricultural pests. The companies said their partnership will allow Biotalys to speed up the development and commercialization of its crop protection solutions by taking advantage of Syngenta’s global network and resources.

“By combining our proven research and development capabilities with the breakthrough protein-based innovations of the Biotalys AGROBODY platform, we are determined to play a pivotal role in addressing critical farmer needs around the globe,” said Camilla Corsi, head of crop protection research at Syngenta Crop Protection.

Patrice Sellès, Biotalys’ CEO, said his company was “proud and excited to be working with Syngenta, a world leading agricultural company,” on one of the industry’s most pressing challenges. “Collaborating with Syngenta is a major milestone in our continued mission to provide growers around the globe with safe, efficient, and more sustainable agricultural solutions,” he added.

No financial terms of the agreement were disclosed.

Biotalys also entered into a separate partnership agreement with Denmark-based Novozymes less than a year ago to expand the opportunities for Evoca, its new protein-based and environmentally friendly biofungicide to control fungal diseases in fruits and vegetables.

Bryant Haskins, NCBiotech Writer
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