Biotalys (Euronext - BTLS), an Agricultural Technology (AgTech) company protecting crops and food with protein-based biocontrol solutions, today unveiled the promising results of its latest field trials with its biocontrol Evoca™*. In 2021, an extensive program of 150 trials was conducted to further support the regulatory dossier for Evoca in the EU, and to refine commercial positioning of the product in the US. The trials showed that, when applied at the flowering stage in a Botrytis control program in grape, Evoca consistently outperformed a leading chemical fungicide. This demonstrates Evoca’s potential as a pivotal tool to fight Botrytis, a costly and often devastating fungal disease.
“Our field trial program continues to demonstrate the intrinsic strength of our first protein-based biocontrol Evoca. The latest results provide clear information on the product’s ideal positioning, highlighting a distinct commercial opportunity for Biotalys to position Evoca within a grower’s integrated pest management rotation,” said Patrice Sellès, CEO of Biotalys. “Adding more biocontrol solutions, like Evoca, into the hands of growers is essential for the transition to safer, more sustainable agricultural practices. Studying in-field results helps us develop best practices for how and when to add biocontrols into the traditional protection mix so growers can confidently use the right program and the right inputs at the right time based on the unique needs of their crops.”
Based on data from the latest trials in grapes across vineyards in diverse climates throughout California and New York, Evoca provided excellent preventative control of Botrytis bunch rot in grapevines. The efficacy trials assessed applications for wine/table grapes at flowering, bunch closure, and veraison (respectively applications A, B, and C in the image below). When substituted for a leading chemical fungicide at the flowering stage in a commercial “gold standard” chemical fungicide rotation, Evoca provided significantly more control of Botrytis in grapes at harvest. Indeed, the Evoca program suppressed severity of bunch rot symptoms by approximately 73% when compared to untreated bunches, versus only 54% for the rotation program with only chemical fungicides.
“As resistance to conventional crop protection solutions continues to build, growers are looking for new, effective yet sustainable ways to protect their yields, their soil health, their livelihoods and their ecosystem,” said Carlos Reyes, Head of Field Development at Biotalys, based in California. “Adding Evoca to an IPM program at flowering – the optimum growth stage for a clean start of the cultivation – will not only provide a competitive advantage for grape growers, but will also give them the added confidence that they are giving their crop a strong start with season-long impact, as well as eliminating initial chemical fungicide applications.”
Building on these findings, Biotalys has already progressed with additional trials to also explore at-flowering sprays within IPM programs in berries, cucurbits and tomatoes as the company continues to deepen its field trial data from around the globe.
In addition, Biotalys has demonstrated that wine grape juice quality, vinification or wine characteristics exhibited no differences for Evoca-treated vineyards when compared to non-Evoca treated vineyards. Samples from Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Merlot vineyards treated with Evoca at various stages of the grape lifecycle were subjected to nearly 50 different analytical laboratory analyses in accordance with industry standards. These results were jointly reviewed and validated by the Manager of Technical, Environmental, and International Affairs and the Analytical Lab Manager of a major California wine producer, thus demonstrating Biotalys’ ability to offer the wine industry an innovative new solution that protects vineyards while ensuring the quality of the fresh produce and derivatives.
A novel protein-based biofungicide developed on Biotalys’ AGROBODY Foundry™ platform, Evoca helps control fungal diseases such as Botrytis in fruits and vegetables. Demonstrating strong performance across more than 600 independent and company-driven field and greenhouse trials across multiple regions, climates, soil types, production types, pathogen pressure and crops to date, Evoca is on track to obtain approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) later this year, while in the EU regulatory approval is expected by the end of 2024. This will pave the way for Biotalys’ pipeline of product candidates, which includes biofungicides, biobactericides and bio-insecticides.
Earlier in May 2022, Evoca’s active ingredient received an entirely new resistance class by the FRAC – the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee. The new classification granted by this highly-reputed international panel of renown technical experts, demonstrates to growers that the product will be a new tool that complements existing biological and conventional crop protection solutions to fight the fungal diseases Botrytis and powdery mildew.
* Evoca™: Pending Registration. This product is not currently registered for sale or use in the United States, the European Union, or elsewhere and is not being offered for sale.
Biotalys is an Agricultural Technology (AgTech) company protecting crops and food with proprietary protein-based biocontrol solutions and aiming to provide alternatives to conventional chemical pesticides for a more sustainable and safer food supply. Based on its novel AGROBODY™ technology platform, Biotalys is developing a strong and diverse pipeline of effective product candidates with a favorable safety profile that aim to address key crop pests and diseases across the whole value chain, from soil to plate. Biotalys was founded in 2013 as a spin-off from the VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) and is listed on Euronext Brussels since July 2021. The company is based in the biotech cluster in Ghent, Belgium. More information can be found on www.biotalys.com