AgBiome raises $34.5 million to develop organic-farming fungicide

Agricultural biotechnology company AgBiome raise $34.5 million from investors for research and development into its first product, a fungicide for organic farmers.

AgBiome, based in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park, will submit an application to the Environmental Protection Agency within the next few weeks, but the company does not anticipate being ready to sell its first product, codenamed Howler within the company, until some point next year.

AgBiome currently employs 36 full-time and 14 part-time employees, but hopes to expand to include at least a dozen research and development employees in anticipation of the new product. The company also will create a sales team next year in conjunction with the regulatory approval of its first product, Andrew Graham, the company's chief financial officer, said.

AgBiome plans to move into a new facility that can accommodate up to 70 employees and contains a 5,000-square-foot greenhouse and 30,000 total square feet.

Most biological pesticides on the market today “just don’t work that well,” Dan Tomso, AgBiome's chief scientific officer, said. “Howler works as well as the flagship chemical solutions that are out there. This stuff really, really works.”

AgBiome is focused on identifying microbes in plants that can help produce more productive crops. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Syngenta Ventures are two investors in AgBiome.

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Syngenta Feldbergstrasse 137 Basel, BS - 4058

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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