Lavie Bio Ltd., a subsidiary of Evogene Ltd. (Nasdaq: EVGN) (TASE: EVGN), and a leading ag-biological company focusing on improving food quality, sustainability, and agriculture productivity through the introduction of microbiome-based products, today announced submitting the registration package for LAV.311, its novel bio-fungicide targeting fruit rots and powdery mildews, to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The annual expenditure in the U.S. alone on chemical fungicide crop protection is estimated by Lavie Bio at $2 billion. Foliage and fruit fungal diseases, such as fruit rots and powdery mildews, cause significant yield loss and produce-quality reduction, impacting growers’ profitability, and requiring regular fungicide application throughout the growing season. However, over time, the availability of chemical fungicide products for growers declines due to an increase in disease resistance and regulatory use restrictions, resulting in an increased need for novel and sustainable solution such as ag-biologicals.
Over the past three years, LAV.311 has consistently demonstrated control of fruit rots and powdery mildew in grapes, strawberries, cucurbits, and fruiting vegetables, in over 30 trials conducted in the U.S., Europe and Israel. LAV.311 is based on a novel bacteria that is naturally present in nature, which was selected by Evogene’s MicroBoost AI. This enables flexibility of product use and integration into customized and existing fungicide application programs. Furthermore, it meets an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach, of reduced use of synthesized chemistry, based on more sustainable materials.
Commented Guri Oron, CEO of Lavie Bio: “We are pleased to have reached this key product milestone and we are targeting the 2024 growing season for the commercial launch of this product. We have high expectations for our unique bio-fungicide offering and this is a strong step closer toward commercialization.”
Mr. Ofer Haviv, Chairman of Lavie Bio and President & CEO of Evogene, stated: “I am excited to see the strong advances that continue to be made within Lavie Bio’s product pipeline. Thrivus, our bio-inoculant, was commercialized earlier this year, and LAV.311, our bio-fungicide has now advanced to the regulatory stage. Lavie Bio’s product pipeline presents a valuable opportunity for implementing sustainable farming practices in tune with nature, using microbes already present in the environment. Our recent pipeline advancements to the pre-commercial and commercial stages demonstrate the power and unique capabilities of Lavie Bio’s technology platform.”