Revolutionizing Crop Health by Increasing Stability and Consistency of Bioactives
About This Project
Maier Avendaño, Head of Platforms @ Invaio
Doug Boyes, Head of Biological Delivery Systems @ Invaio
Revolutionizing crop health by increasing stability,
efficacy, and consistency of biological solutions
The global agri-food system is facing significant challenges in the coming decades: It needs to become more productive to feed 10 billion people by 2050, while minimizing its environmental footprint by taking a key role in limiting climate change and environmental degradation. This imperative towards a more productive and sustainable agri-food system has reached a point of no return and is accelerating, being driven by multiple factors, including changing consumer preferences, investor expectations, and a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape (e.g., the EU Green Deal). This productivity-sustainability imperative has created an unprecedented opportunity for new companies that can develop innovative solutions to protect crop health.
Invaio Sciences, Inc., a Flagship Pioneering company, is a crop health company, working to develop multi-platform technology solutions that hack the limitations often associated with biological-based insect and disease control agents, thereby creating a paradigm shift towards more sustainable agriculture. We introduce new value to the industry and the market by integrating breakthrough technologies, and in this way, creating system-based sustainable agricultural solutions to solve big problems.
Our technology platforms include a novel physical delivery system TIPS™ that precisely injects active ingredients into the vascular system of trees, as well as two proprietary biological delivery systems termed PEx™ and ADAS™. The PEx™ system takes inspiration from plant exosomes and enables efficient encapsulation of active ingredients within plant lipid vesicles for enhanced environmental stability and delivery to target cells. Invaio’s second biological delivery system is our microbial-based ADAS™ (Active Dynamic Achromosomal Systems) technology platform, that can produce and precisely deliver a wide variety of biologically-derived active ingredients, enhancing their potential through increased stability and efficacy by targeting key crop pests and pathogens.
ADAS™ Particles are Functional Genome-Free Bacteria
Our patent-pending ADAS™ technology includes naturally derived, non-replicating bacterial minicells that can produce, protect, and deliver a variety of biologically active molecules (proteins, peptides, dsRNAs, and natural toxins), extending their in-field stability and efficacy.
These particles are produced from bacterial source organisms (e.g. E. coli, B. Subtills) by disruption of one or more genes involved in regulating bacterial parent cell partitioning functions, i.e., disruption of a z-ring inhibition protein, or disruption of z-ring inhibition proteins in combination with a cell division topological specificity factor. Additionally, over-expression of the bacterial septum machinery components can be used to induce ADAS™ particle production. Introduction of specific mutations alters the cellular division process that normally results in the production of two symmetrical daughter cells, such that it instead leads to the creation of a parental cell and a much smaller achromosomal, non-replicating ADAS™ particle that maintains the properties of the parental cell and is highly active. ADAS™ particles are biodegradable and can be readily designed and programmed using standard molecular genetic techniques to manipulate the parental strain.
We are creating a unique platform to run biological programs with components from multiple bacterial species
As an analogy to cell phones, which allow programmers to build, and end-users to run, a seemingly endless variety of specific Apps, we are using our proprietary ADAS™ technologies to program innovative “Biocontrol-Apps” with interoperable components to create a diverse array of solutions for enhancing crop health. New Biocontrol Apps can be created by simply changing the ADAS™ composition. For example, we can tune ADAS™ functionality by modifying their surface properties for enhanced association with a target cell, or by expressing alternative bioactives, singly or in combination, to modify the spectrum of pest or pathogen control. Given their highly active nature, ADAS™ particles can amplify the bioactive ingredient concentration, increasing their efficacy and persistence of activity when compared to killed microbes or live microbes that do not thrive in field environments. These unique properties of ADAS™ particles enable specific solutions for the agricultural sector to combat pests and pathogens, or to deliver biostimulants and biofertilizers. ADAS™ particles can be used to drive enhanced performance of novel and known bioactives alike, especially those that suffer from stability or cost challenges that limit their commercial potential.
With the ADAS™ platform we are unlocking biologicals discovery pipelines, providing a real alternative to synthetic pesticide regimes in agriculture
Invaio is currently developing and validating multiple solutions with the ADAS™ platform expressing known or novel bioactive ingredients with multiple modes of action, targeting all major crop segments (row crops, vegetables, and perennials). Our ongoing validation of biological efficacy in the greenhouse and the field of multiple ADAS™-based crop health solutions has established the platform as a robust delivery technology and allowed us to create a continuous pipeline of potential products, including those that incorporate novel active ingredients discovered through our innovative machine learning-powered “discovery engine”. Through our unique integrated active ingredient discovery and delivery technology approach, Invaio is now on track to develop and commercialize a diverse array of insect and fungal control products derived from ADAS™ particles expressing RNA and/or peptide active ingredients.
Invaios’s platform technologies have the potential to revolutionize crop health by replacing traditional chemical pesticides with effective and reliable biological solutions
We are partnering with growers to develop and implement broad-based technologies with the aim of increasing on-farm profitability while also delivering increased sustainability by replacing traditional pesticides with effective and reliable biological solutions. Our solutions allow improved resistance management, providing growers with next-generation plant protection and health tools that enable delivery of natural biomolecules that would otherwise be unsuitable for practical use. Additionally, by enhancing efficacy through increased stability and precision delivery, we have been able to demonstrate that our platform technologies can improve the reliability and overall effectiveness of existing crop health solutions, thereby expanding the toolkit of options available to growers.
Invaio’s multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and innovators pursues breakthroughs in bioactive discovery, precision delivery, and systems thinking to implement novel solutions, to reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint, and act as stewards of tomorrow. We’ve learned to think outside of the box and seek sustainable solutions by integrating multiple technologies, with the objective to create the types of true breakthroughs required to solve the urgent and complex challenge of climate change.