May 3, 2022
BioPhero closes first sale
BioPhero has reached a major milestone by closing and supplying its first commercial sale. The company has sold a significant quantity of its first pheromone product – FERMATE® RICE – to a named company.
“For BioPhero this is an important milestone in our transformation from startup to established biotech company with commercial production and products. We are proud to have come this far this fast, just as we are proud to be at the forefront of the global transition towards sustainable agriculture,” says BioPhero Chief Executive Officer Kristian Ebbensgaard.
Pheromones come with none of the health and environmental concerns associated with conventional insecticides. Whereas chemical insecticides kill all insects, good and bad alike, pheromones control moths and other pests by preventing them from finding each other to mate. As a result, population eruptions of plant-eating offspring are kept in check. It’s a safe and environmentally friendly solution for pest control in agriculture.
Until now, however, pheromones have been too costly to use in anything but high-value crops in vineyards and orchards. Thanks to BioPhero’s patented technology, this is no longer the case. By using a yeast fermentation process similar to beer brewing, BioPhero can mass-produce bio-based pheromones from renewable raw materials at a price that makes them available for use in large-scale row crops.
“BioPhero is proving that biological production of pheromones is the production platform of the future because it is more scalable and economical than traditional chemical synthesis, and this sale proves that the market is ready for our products,” comments Kristian Ebbensgaard.
FERMATE® RICE is targeted at certain rice stem borers, which are major pests in all rice-growing regions of the world. The product’s main pheromone component, Z11-16 aldehyde, is in fact used in various blends by various types of moths to attract a mate. Thus, BioPhero can modify its production platform to produce pheromone products for control of other economically important pests such as cotton bollworm and diamondback moth.
BioPhero was founded in 2016 as a spin-out from the Technical University of Denmark. Since then, the biotechnology company has undergone rapid growth, attracting $17 million in funding in 2021. BioPhero is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.