Invaio Sciences Labs is a cutting-edge center of discovery in Cambridge, MA.  Beginning with the understanding of the inner workings of insects to benefit us all, we draw upon a lineage of advancing life sciences to gain a deeper understanding of our relationship with natural systems.
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Solving Big Problems with Well-Suited Alliance

About This Project

by Ginni Ursin, Ph.D. – Head of External Alliances, Invaio Sciences

A partnership steeped in understanding of Science & Nature

The partnership between Invaio Sciences and University of California, Riverside will bring a critical solution to a citrus industry under siege. Under the agreement to take on the far reaching problems of Citrus Greening, Invaio becomes the commercialization partner for the highly regarded California flagship research University. Invaio will amplify the innovative science founded by Dr. Hailing Jin in effort to reinvigorate the citrus industries. Invaio will collate the landmark peptide technology into products and delivery systems that will be deployed to growers around the globe.

The recently announced partnership between Invaio and UCR (University of California, Riverside) for the development and commercialization of the cgSAMP anti-microbial peptide is fantastic example of how university/industry partnerships can be mutually beneficial for both partners in fulfilling their respective missions, and move technologies out from the lab to providing solutions to societal needs.

Invaio Looks at the Whole System for Solutions to Big Problems

Invaio brings to the table, ground-breaking delivery technology that will make the deployment of the therapeutic molecule feasible and cost effective. Invaio’s deep experience in field testing and working with key regulatory agencies ensures that solutions can move through the development stages to commercial launch as effectively and as fast as possible.



UCR selected Invaio as the commercialization partner for the technology after holding conversations with and evaluating other interested parties.  Invaio’s willingness to invest in the solution, introduce a viable plan and shepherd the process with an experienced team were important factors in UCR’s decision.

"Significant financial and time investment is needed to take this early stage UCR stable antimicrobial peptide (SAMP) technology from where it is today to a product that the citrus industry can use to address a critical need in combating Huanglongbing (HLB) citrus disease."




- Jules Bernstein, Senior Public Information Officer - UCR


Invaio Sciences

For Invaio, partnering is a critical driver in crafting solutions of change.  We view these partnerships as part of our company’s innovation ecosystem.  We recognize critical elements that industry partners bring to the development of successful alliances, including commitment to strong and accurate science and a vision for translating technologies into viable solutions.

"In accordance with the licensing guidelines of the University of California, UCR determined that an exclusive license agreement was the best path forward and negotiated fair and reasonable terms with Invaio to encourage commercialization of the technology. Invaio brings scientific, product development and commercial expertise in the Ag Biotech space, in addition to a proprietary delivery system that could be critical in bringing the UCR technology to commercial success." - Jules Bernstein, UCR


University of California, Riverside & Invaio Sciences relationship details:


What is the technology and what are the next steps to making this available to growers?

    • This is a citrus-derived, stable antimicrobial peptides (SAMPs), which is a very small protein. The technology is early stage but results in the laboratory and greenhouse demonstrate that SAMPs were effective in preventing HLB infection on young citrus trees, and in treating HLB-infected trees. Extensive field testing has begun to verify the efficacy of SAMP technology in real production settings. The peptide was found in the finger lime, an unusual citrus fruit that grows in Australia’s rainforests. The pickle-shaped fruits are full of caviar-like pulp which has proven immune to citrus greening. After discovering the gene that grants immunity to the limes, Dr. Jin used this understanding to create a natural HLB-fighting protein soon to be shared throughout groves everywhere.


Is it safe?

    • While the nature and source of the natural peptide from citrus infers a product that will be safe for growers, consumers and the environment, the technology will nevertheless be evaluated for safety following guidelines established by the US EPA, in order to receive full regulatory approval.


How will the product be made and delivered?

    • A cost effective and scalable manufacturing process is under development by Invaio to provide a sufficient and affordable supply of the formulated SAMP to growers. The product will be delivered using Invaio’s proprietary microinjection technology. This technology allows the SAMP to be delivered directly into the tissues where the disease hides out in infected trees.


When can growers get some of this to test?

    • There may be opportunity for citrus growers to participate in field trials during the development of a product by Invaio. All such participation will be coordinated by Invaio. Prior to getting this technology into the hands of growers, however, Invaio will need to scale the production to generate sufficient quantities of the formulated product. We expect that within a year, this may be possible.


As is often the case when developing cutting edge technologies, innovations are necessary along the whole development chain. Invaio recently announced a public-private co-development collaboration with the US DOE Agile Biofoundry and the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) to create a production system for the cgSAMP peptide using the state of the art technologies. This project will ensure we can produce the peptide in a cost effectively and at the scale necessary to attack this disease on a global scale.


@ Invaio Sciences

Virginia Ursin / Ph.D.


Ginni Ursin joined Invaio as Head of External Alliances where she brings her commitment to develop partnerships to accelerate the pace of innovation in agricultural sustainability. Ginni brings over 25 years of experience in the life sciences. Before joining  Invaio, Ginni held a similar role at Indigo Ag, and prior to that, held a number of roles at Monsanto which included leading research programs focused on agricultural sustainability. Ginni holds a PhD in Genetics from the University of California, Davis. Along with being an avid gardener, Ursin is passionate about agriculture, and believes in the  prospects of a sustainable global food supply on the near horizon.




Citrus, Environment, Insects, Perennial Crops, TIPS