Evolva (SIX: EVE) and Valent BioSciences Corporation (VBC), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sumitomo Chemical Company, have signed an exclusive agreement to co-develop and commercialise a class of high-value active ingredients for use as next-generation agricultural bioactives. For competitive reasons, the ingredients are not being identified at this time.
Bioactives are being used increasingly around the globe because they help growers improve crop yields without any negative effects to either human health or the environment. They are used in both organic and conventional agriculture and horticulture. Along with crop rotation and integrated pest management strategies, bioactives play an important role in sustainable farming.
The collaboration will start by developing yeast strains that make the desired ingredients. Evolva has the primary responsibility for this phase while VBC will be responsible for commercialisation. The companies will work together on scale-up and manufacturing. The first products from the collaboration are expected to be launched in 4-5 years.
Total spending on the project during the next five years is estimated at CHF 12-14 million. Evolva and VBC have agreed to split equally both the R&D costs and profits from active ingredient sales.
“Our fermentation platform is uniquely well-suited to produce a wide range of high-value, cost-effective, and sustainable ingredients, said Neil Goldsmith, CEO of Evolva. “We are delighted to be partnering with VBC to leverage this platform to develop and commercialise next-generation agricultural bioactives.”
“This collaboration aligns well with VBC’s growth strategy in the area of bioactives,” said Ted Melnik, Executive Vice President and COO of Valent BioSciences Corporation. “Our combined expertise and history of innovation provides a solid foundation for this agreement.”