A Smart Platform – with a Twist of Lime
About This Project
by Ginni Ursin, Ph.D. – Head of External Alliances, Invaio Sciences
In Collaboration with the US Department of Energy: Agile Biofoundry & Invaio Sciences instigate new fermentation technologies to find solutions to pressing problems
It is undeniable that global agriculture is facing unprecedented challenges. The demand for increased production per acre of land is being met with demands for the decreased use of synthetic chemicals. And this is for good reason. Many agricultural chemicals, while increasing production, are also known to harm non-target organisms in the environment and can massively decrease biodiversity in agricultural soils.
One of the most critical impacts of this on a global scale, is the diminished capacity of soils to sequester carbon. So-called biologics hold enormous potential in this equation. Biologics can decrease use of more toxic pesticides, and when used in an integrated manner, biologics can offset many of the issues created by overuse of synthetic pesticides.
Invaio is excited to announce that such a project is underway in collaboration with DOE Agile Biofoundry, to develop an efficient bioprocess for the industrial production of the cgSAMP. This was one of 8 projects approved for funding in this very competitive selection process. With this substantial funding and the involvement of the team at the Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL), led by Dr. Jon Magnusson, we aim to develop ground-breaking technologies that will not only allow the cost-effective production of cgSAMP peptide, but when applied to a range of biologics, could prove revolutionary for agriculture.
Throughout the great work of our TEAM, PARTNERS, COLLABORATORS, BOARD MEMBERS & FRIENDS – Invaio is taking on some of the biggest challenges facing the planet and humanity.
“This new funded effort by Invaio and collaborators will enable the team to harness the products of nature and the tools of modern biology to produce food in a sustainable manner to feed the world.”
Dr. James J. Collins – Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science Professor, Department of Biological Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University
Invaio has pioneering platforms for the identification and development of solutions inspired by nature, combined with precision delivery systems that are fundamentally changing how crop protection is practiced. Invaio recently announced the partnership with the University of California Riverside, and Dr. Hailing Jin, to develop and make commercially available potentially revolutionary biological, a naturally-occurring anti-microbial peptide called cgSAMP, that holds promise to reverse and potentially eradicate the devastating disease called Citrus Greening (aka HLB for Huanglongbing).
However, as is the case for most biologics, the widespread use in agriculture is severely hampered by the lack of available tools for their mass production. To ensure biologics, including the cgSAMP Peptide, are approved for use under the relevant governmental regulations, several important criteria must be met. Because it is not feasible to extract most biologicals from the original organism for use, a production system must also be developed. This is virtually always through fermentation in a “host” organism, and the same regulatory criteria are applied to the production system as well as to the specific biologic produced. It is thus essential that suitable fermentation hosts are developed and optimized.
This is where Invaio’s partnership can bridge UCR’s science of the cgSAMP, by crafting applicable technology with the Agile Biofoundry grant, and maneuver regulatory hoops and scalability with our expert team to bring the solution to the global marketplace on an expedited timeline.
Virginia Ursin / Ph.D.
HEAD OF EXTERNAL ALLIANCES @ Invaio Sciences
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.