Marrone Bio Innovations and Groundwork BioAg Sign Seed Treatment Development Agreement
Key Development Initiative Focused on First Broad-Spectrum Biopesticide and Biostimulant Seed Treatment for Corn, Soybean, and Other Crops Partial Funding Committed by BIRD Foundation
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBII) (MBI) and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd (GBA) announce a collaboration to create and commercialize the world’s first all-biological comprehensive seed treatment. The treatment is expected to contain a mycorrhizal biostimulant from GBA as well as a bioinsecticide, a bionematicide, and a biofungicide from MBI.
Currently, there are successful commercial seed treatments that contain chemical insecticides, fungicides, and nematicides for row crops such as corn and soybean. There are also a limited number of successful seed treatments that contain both biologicals and chemicals. However, none of the existing seed treatments contain an all-biological stack of insecticides, fungicides, nematicides, and biostimulants. The proposed product is expected to enhance crop yield and reduce fertilizer requirements (especially phosphorus), while controlling soil-dwelling pests and plant diseases. This comprehensive solution has the potential to provide a wide scope of benefits to growers (conventional and organic alike), without the adverse effects of certain chemical inputs. The first efforts of the collaboration – seeds treated with GBA’s mycorrhizae and MBI’s microbials are in field trials on corn and on soybean in the U.S. Midwest and in Israel.
The Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD), a foundation that supports and encourages cooperation between Israeli and U.S. companies in various areas of technology, selected the collaboration for matching funding. MBI notes that it has another project, a previously announced collaboration with Evogene, also partially funded by BIRD.
Dr. Pam Marrone, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Marrone Bio Innovations, commented, “We are excited to announce what we regard as a key MBI objective – a development agreement for a fully biological seed treatment solution. We believe that this project has the potential for high impact in the seed treatment market in general across a broad range of crops, and, in particular, can meet an unaddressed need for the rapidly growing organic grain segment. We are exceptionally pleased to partner with GBA and to receive additional validation regarding the promise of this technology from the BIRD Foundation.”
Dr. Yossi Kofman, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Groundwork BioAg, added, “We expect farmers to embrace an all-biological cost-effective seed treatment that offers value to their operations through increased yields, fertilizer savings, and effective pest and disease control – without the worry of regulatory restrictions, handling hazards, and non-target toxicity of some chemical pesticides. MBI, an innovative biopesticide market leader, was a natural choice for us as a strategic partner.”
While industry estimates vary, the companies estimate the global seed treatment market at $4.2 billion, growing at a compound annual rate of 10% over the next five years. Insecticides currently hold the largest share of this market and the crop protection category is expected to be the fastest growing segment over the next several years. Both companies noted that they are continuing to pursue, on their own or with other partners, other solutions for the fast-growing seed treatment market.
About Marrone Bio Innovations
Smart. Natural. Solutions.
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBII) strives to lead the movement to a more sustainable world through the discovery, development and promotion of biological products for pest management and plant health. Our effective and environmentally responsible solutions help customers operate more sustainably while controlling pests, improving plant health, and increasing crop yields. We have four products for agriculture on the market (Regalia®, Grandevo®, Venerate® and Majestene®), and also distribute Bio-tam 2.0® for Isagro USA in the western U.S. MBI also markets Zequanox® for invasive mussels for water markets. We also have a proprietary discovery process, a rapid development platform, and a robust pipeline of pest management and plant health product candidates. At Marrone Bio Innovations we are dedicated to pioneering better biopesticides that support a better tomorrow for users around the globe. For more information, please visit www.marronebio.com.
About Groundwork BioAg
Let your ground work.
Groundwork BioAg, Ltd produces cost-effective mycorrhizal inoculants for commercial agriculture. Natural mycorrhizal fungi improve soil nutrient uptake in 90% of all plant species. When applied to agriculture, mycorrhizal inoculants increase crop yields while reducing fertilizer requirements, most notably phosphorus. Groundwork’s uniquely vigorous and highly concentrated Rootella™ products have demonstrated double-digit yield increases in several major crops, such as corn, soybean, tomato and onion. The company operates in several countries within the high-growth, multi-billion-dollar bioagriculture market. For more information, please visit www.groundworkbioag.com.
About the BIRD Foundation
The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation works to encourage cooperation between Israeli and American companies in various areas of technology, and provides free assistance in locating strategic partners from both countries for developing joint products. The BIRD Foundation supports projects without receiving any rights in the participating companies or in the project itself. The financial assistance is repaid as royalties from sales. The Foundation provides support of up to 50% of a project’s budget, beginning with R&D and ending with the initial stages of sales and marketing. The Foundation shares the risk and does not demand that the investment be repaid if the project fails to reach the sales stage.
Marrone Bio Innovations Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertain-ties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding strategy, future operations and plans, including assumptions underlying such statements, are forward-looking statements, and should not be relied upon as representing MBI’s views as of any subsequent date. Examples of such statements include statements regarding MBI’s proposed comprehensive seed treatment product with GBI, including the development, commercialization, market for and potential benefits of the proposed product, expectations regarding the potential product being first of its kind to market, MBI’s efforts with respect to other potential products, MBI’s relationships with strategic partners, including GBI and Evogene, and funding by BIRD Foundation. Such forward-looking statements are based on information available to the Company as of the date of this release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some beyond the Company’s control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements, including any difficulty in developing and commercializing the potential seed treatment product, marketing the potential product with MBI’s principal customers, competition in the market for pest management products, lack of understanding of bio-based pest management products by customers and growers, and adverse decisions by regulatory agencies and other relevant third parties. Additional information that could lead to material changes in MBI’s performance is contained in its filings with the SEC. MBI is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to, update or alter forward-looking statements contained in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.