Biotalys Launches Field Trials for Next-Gen Biofungicide

In a significant development for sustainable agriculture, Biotalys, an innovative AgTech company, has announced the commencement of field trials for its second biofungicide program, BioFun-6, utilizing its proprietary Agrobody technology platform. This marks a notable stride in Biotalys’ mission to provide eco-friendly solutions for crop protection, with BioFun-6 specifically engineered to combat destructive plant diseases such as botrytis, powdery mildew, and anthracnose, which are notorious for affecting high-value fruit and vegetable crops.

The Agrobody technology platform, a cornerstone of Biotalys’ research and development efforts, has yielded several candidate bioactive ingredients for BioFun-6. The upcoming field trials, scheduled to begin in May 2024, will put one of the lead molecules to the test in real-world agricultural settings. To ensure the trials’ success and integrity, Biotalys is partnering with select third-party contract research organizations.

These initial field trials are set to take place in Europe, focusing on grape and tomato crops—both of which are of significant economic importance and are highly susceptible to the targeted diseases. The agricultural community and stakeholders are eagerly anticipating the results, which are expected to be released by the end of the year. The outcomes will not only provide insights into the efficacy of BioFun-6 but also pave the way for further applications in other crops and regions.

Kevin Helash, the CEO of Biotalys, has expressed the company’s commitment to advancing its suite of protein-based bioactive ingredients. The progression of BioFun-6 into field trials is a testament to the company’s capabilities and its concerted efforts to enrich its pipeline of biofungicides and bioinsecticides. Helash emphasized the importance of such innovations in aiding growers to adopt more sustainable practices.

This development comes at a time when the agricultural sector is under increasing pressure to reduce its reliance on traditional chemical pesticides, which have been linked to environmental damage and health concerns. Biocontrols like BioFun-6 offer an alternative by harnessing naturally occurring substances to protect crops without the negative side effects associated with synthetic chemicals.

Biotalys’ first product candidate, Evoca™, is currently navigating through the regulatory process, while its commercial version, Evoca NG, is in the final stages of development with the collaboration of Novonesis. The progression of BioFun-6 is a clear indicator of Biotalys’ robust product pipeline and its potential to revolutionize the crop protection industry.

Since its inception as a spin-off from the VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) in 2013, Biotalys has been at the forefront of AgTech innovation. The company’s listing on Euronext Brussels in July 2021 has further solidified its status as a key player in the burgeoning biotech cluster in Ghent, Belgium.

As Biotalys embarks on this critical phase of field trials, the agricultural sector watches with anticipation. The success of BioFun-6 could herald a new era of sustainable farming practices, providing growers with effective tools to protect their crops while preserving the environment. With the world facing the dual challenges of food security and environmental sustainability, breakthroughs like this from Biotalys are more vital than ever.

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