French ag-biotech company Micropep, which develops biological micropeptide-based solutions for agriculture, has completed an €8.75 million ($9.3 million) series A1 financing round.
Fall Line Capital led the funding, in addition to existing investors, Supernova Invest, Sofinnova Partners, FMC Ventures and IRDI/SORIDEC.
Based in Toulouse, Micropep has developed a technological platform that makes it possible to precisely regulate a plant’s gene expression, without altering its DNA, by the exogenous application of micropeptides, a family of proteins naturally produced by plants to respond to stress and regulate their development.
Eyes on the U.S.
Micropep said the new round of financing will fuel its expansion to the U.S.
“Micropep has developed a truly novel technology platform in ag-biotech that promises to bring farmers highly effective new and environmentally safe crop protection solutions. We have been impressed by the broad potential of Micropep’s micropeptide discovery platform and by the vision of its leadership team. We are eager to provide our expertise to support the company and its expansion in the U.S.,” said Eric O’Brien, co-founder and managing partner of Fall Line Capital.
“New frontiers in crop protection”
The new investment also marks the first step towards the commercialization of Micropep’s products. Micropep is using this funding to accelerate the development phase of its first micropeptide candidates in the U.S. and will build a locally-recruited team to deploy its solutions.
“Like everywhere else in the world, US farmers will need all the tools they can access to continue to control resistant weeds and pathogens while mitigating the effects of climate change on their crops,” said Thomas Laurent, co-founder and CEO of Micropep.
“Micropep is building for them a revolutionary toolbox of micropeptide- based solutions to first control resistant weeds and diseases. Our unique approach could open new frontiers in crop protection the same way RNA technology did with vaccines.”
Micropep is an agricultural biotech firm founded in France in 2016 as a spin-off of LRSV, the Plant Research Laboratory at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Toulouse University.
The company has developed and patented a non-GMO technology that makes it possible to identify and indirectly modulate the expression of genes or proteins of interest in plants by spraying biology instead of chemistry.
The company’s approach leverages the potential of micropeptides, short natural peptide molecules that target and regulate plant genes and proteins. Micropep’s ambition is to help farmers protect their crops against pathogens and resistant weeds, while preserving yields and respecting the environment.