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Plastomics, a biotechnology startup making crops hardier through chloroplast engineering, is pleased to announce the closing of an early Seed Round. Their technology will help farmers and seed companies meet current challenges facing agricultural biotechnology today: insect resistance, herbicide tolerant weeds, and the need for more trait stacking.
Bioscience crops have stimulated global economic growth, reduced agriculture’s environmental impact, and produced higher yields over the past 20 years. BioGenerator and the Yield Lab co-led the investment round. The funds will be used to set up tobacco, soy and corn platforms and to create proof of concept products.
“Investing in this extraordinary company and technology is an exciting and promising opportunity. Sustainably feeding the world’s growing population is a major concern and Plastomics’ way of engineering certain traits into crops is the next step for solving this problem,” said Yield Lab Managing Director Chris Danforth.
“The level of Ag industry savvy we have seen and come to expect from Plastomics’ founders has been impressive,” Harry Arader, BioGenerator Director of Entrepreneur Development, said. “The progress we’ve seen from the time we got involved, pre-company to the close of this funding round, is an exciting testament to the strength of the St. Louis bioscience community. We are pleased to continue to support the great progress Plastomics has made over the past year.”
Plastomics’ chloroplast engineering platform is a fast, efficient, and more predictable way to introduce multiple traits into important crops that can also reduce time to market. Chloroplast traits are inherited only through seed, which simplifies breeding and eliminates trait escape via pollen, a key stewardship issue for certain crops. Plastomics will enable development of the next generation of high performance crops.
“Our platform will make better, safer, and more effective crops for the future,” said Plastomics’ CEO, Sharon Berberich. “This round of financing will jump-start our corn chloroplast engineering platform, the only one of it’s kind globally. Once it is applied across major food crops, our technology will ultimately help solve the problem of feeding humankind.”