TechAccel invests in biotechnology startup Plastomics to accelerate the development of better crops using chloroplast engineering
Technology and venture development company, Technology Acceleration Partners (TechAccel), has invested in biotechnology startup Plastomics to accelerate the development of better crops using chloroplast engineering. The St Louis-based TechAccel announced in a company release that it has completed a science advancement investment with Plastomics Inc., another St. Louis-based biotechnology startup making better crops through chloroplast engineering. The company did not disclose the terms of the investment. Recently, Plastomics also announced the closing of an early round of seed funding with investments from BioGenerator and The Yield Lab, both St. Louis-based investors.
TechAccel’s investment will fund a science advancement initiative designed to accelerate the development of Plastomics’ technology and a new chloroplast-expressed insect control trait collaboration currently in development. “Plastomics’ technology holds tremendous promise in its ability to manipulate genetic material in the chloroplast,” said TechAccel’s Chief Science Officer Brad Fabbri, Ph.D. “If successfully developed for corn or other row crops, chloroplast transformation offers a number of unique benefits over ‘traditional’ nuclear transformation, including potential high expression levels of a transgene, ease of combining (‘stacking’) multiple transgenes in the same plant and not having the transgenic traits transmitted via pollen drift.”
Founded in 2016, by Jeffrey M. Staub and Ralph Bock, Plastomics is a biotechnology startup using chloroplast genetic engineering to develop the next generation of high performing crops Gene editing and site-directed integration by natural processes allow easy creation of stacked traits. The company is making better, safer and more effective crops through chloroplast engineering. Plastomics helps farmers meet the challenges facing agriculture today: population growth, climate change, water scarcity, pests and weeds. Chloroplast engineering is a fast, efficient, and more predictable way to introduce multiple traits into important crops that can also reduce time to market. New crops with multiple trait solutions can be delivered faster to farmers using Plastomic’s technology.
Plastomics solves multiple pain points in the genetically modified (GM) industries. These industries currently face an uphill battle against herbicide resistant weeds, insect resistance, higher yield demands, and calls for better nutrition and quality. These challenges require innovation in the way the seed is engineered and the stacking of multiple genes with new modes of action for insect and herbicide resistance and multi-gene pathways to enhance nutrients and intrinsic yield. Chloroplast engineering is a solution to address these needs. Plastomics chloroplast engineering offers easy gene-stacking, increased transgene expression, reduced development time & costs, simplified breeding, and improved stewardship.
“We are excited to work with TechAccel in expanding our trait development pipeline,” said Jeffrey Staub, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Science Officer of Plastomics. “This new insect control trait will greatly benefit from the high dosage and increased efficacy that our chloroplast engineering platform provides.”
TechAccel LLC TechAccel is a private capital development company. It was founded in 2014 as a first-of-its-kind technology and venture development company in the agriculture and animal health sectors. TechAccel sources, invests in innovative technology and funds science advancement programs to accelerate readiness for commercialization. Through collaborations with universities and research institutions, TechAccel conducts advancement and de-risking research and development to ready technologies for commercialization. TechAccel identifies and invests in new technologies and fund science advancement initiatives with leading research universities to drive the innovations to market.