Dec 21, 2021
Biotalys, Biobest Biocontrol Solutions partner to expand reach of biocontrols

Biotalys, an Agricultural Technology company focused on addressing food protection challenges with protein-based biocontrol solutions, and Biobest, a global leader in biocontrol and pollination in covered crops reaching growers in over 65 countries, recently announced a long-term strategic partnership.

Biobest, headquartered in Belgium, is focused on pollination and biological control. Biotalys, also based in Belgium, is an ag-tech company focused on addressing food protection challenges with proprietary protein-based biocontrol solutions and aiming to provide alternatives to conventional chemical pesticides.

Financial details of the agreement were not made public.

The partnership will grant Biobest access to five protein-based biocontrol solutions developed by Biotalys on its Agrobody Foundry technology platform for Biobest’s global offer in covered crops and berries, according to a news release from the companies. In addition, the two companies enter into an exclusive agreement for the distribution of Biotalys’ biofungicide Evoca in the United States for all crops and applications, starting in 2022 – pending regulatory approval.

Biobest’s vision is to deliver an innovative and complete range of biological solutions to growers in all major geographical markets,” Biobest CEO Jean-Marc Vandoorne said in a news release. “Biotalys offers a unique new technology for the development of biodegradable, protein-based biocontrol products which are perfectly fit for the diversification of our offer to covered crop and berry growers and for the challenges these growers face in producing healthy and safe food. We look forward to initiating the offer to growers by adding Biotalys’ biofungicide Evoca to our portfolio in the United States upon the availability of the product later next year.”

Patrice Sellès
Patrice Sellès

Patrice Sellès, CEO of Biotalys, said his company was “delighted to have chosen Biobest as an ourlong-term commercial partner for our protein-based biocontrols programs in the covered crops and berry market segments.

“With its presence on all continents, supporting growers with a wide range of biocontrol solutions, and its innovative approach with novel techniques such as robotics, sensors and other digital supporting tools, Biobest is extremely well-positioned to secure the best uptake of our unique technology and candidate products in these selected markets,” he continued. “At the same time, the distribution by Biobest of our very first biocontrol product Evoca in the U.S. market is a key milestone for our company and will pave the way for the commercialization of our future products.”

Long-term collaboration agreement 

Under the terms of the partnership, Biotalys will offer Biobest a right of first negotiation to come to an exclusive distribution agreement for five protein-based biocontrol programs for use in the global covered crop and berry market during the next 10 years, according to the news release. The product candidates can relate to either the existing or future pipeline.

Each time a product candidate is promoted by Biotalys to the development stage on Biotalys’ Agrobody Foundry technology platform, Biobest will have the rights to access the technology with the aim of adding the end-product to its portfolio of solutions in covered crops and berries. For each of the product candidates being promoted to the development stage, the companies will negotiate a tailored global distribution agreement and associated fees (for the technology and product) taking into account the spectrum, potency and crop applicability of the bio-fungicide, bio-insecticide or bio-bactericide solution involved.

The long-term partnership between Biobest and Biotalys provides that Biotalys will supply the end-products to Biobest for commercialization to growers globally, according to the news release. At a time when the number of crop protection solutions is facing significant challenges from a regulatory and consumer point of view, these growers are in need of more sustainable and safer food protection alternatives to produce healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables. Theparties believe that this agreement could deliver significant additional value to both partners in the covered crop and berry space.

Biotalys retains full freedom to enter into commercial partnerships for the five biocontrol programs in applications other than covered crops and berries, according to the news release. Biotalys also retains full freedom for R&D partnerships leading to new product candidate programs on any crops and any geographies.

Next to Evoca, Biotalys’ pipeline at present consists of various bio-fungicide, bio-insecticide and bio-bactericide programs in different research or exploratory stages.

Exclusive distribution agreement for Evoca in the United States

Promotional materials for Evoca.
Promotional materials for Evoca.
An untreated control plant in a 2021 Botrytis trial.
An untreated control plant in a 2021 Botrytis trial.

Biobest and Biotalys have also signed a distribution agreement under which Biobest will exclusively distribute Evoca in the United States for all crops and applications, to calibrate the market as of late 2022, subject to regulatory approval. Evoca is Biotalys’ first biofungicide aimed at helping growers to protect crops such as strawberries, grapes and other high-value fruits and vegetables against Botrytis and Powdery Mildew in integrated pest management (IPM) programs.

Biotalys submitted Evoca for EPA registration in the United States in December 2020. Following the submission, Biotalys passed both the provided completeness check and the preliminary technical screening. Biotalys expects to receive EPA approval in H2 2022. In April 2021, Biotalys also submitted for approval in California, as this State performs its own in-depth review.

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