Camel antibodies as plant protection products

Agrosavfe, a spin-off of the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology, is collecting 7.8 million euros from investors to develop a biological plant protection product for strawberry and tomato cultivation. CEO Marnix Peferoen: "We are now ready to test our product, starting with strawberries and tomatoes because consumer demand for organic crop protection is greatest there." Agrosavfe uses a simplified version of camelid antibodies (Nanobodies), like sister companies do to manufacture drugs.

The Belgian company develops organic crop protection products and does so based on camelid antibodies, which are very straightforward compared to other animals' antibodies. Once the testing phase is completed, the registration will take another four or five years in Europe, and about three and a half years in the US.

Agrosavfe CEO Marnix Peferoen: "We have a unique substance that protects plants against multiple fungi, while most organic products can handle only one fungus. In that sense, we compete more with chemical crop protection products than with other organic pesticides." Peferoen emphasizes this is an organic product though. "It's not toxic to people and not to bees either."

Source: VILT

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