Novozymes expands into agricultural biocontrol, to co-develop enzyme solutions with FMC

DENMARK – Danish biotechnology company Novozymes is expanding beyond its current base of microbial products and is entering the biocontrol segment of agriculture with a promising enzyme-based technology.

As part of the entry into the biocontrol, Novozymes will partner with FMC, a leading global agricultural sciences company, to research, co-develop, and commercialize biological enzyme-based crop protection solutions for growers around the world.

Together, the companies will combine their respective R&D capabilities with FMC serving as commercial partner and Novozymes as the manufacturing partner.

The partnership will leverage Novozymes’ enzyme biocontrol technology development to date, and the companies will work closely together to unlock the potential and seek the necessary approvals to commercialize the technology in the relevant global markets.

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Novozymes entry into agricultural biocontrol comes at a time when the agricultural industry faces challenges to replace or reduce chemical pesticides with more sustainable solutions.

 In some regions, the usage of key chemical pesticides is already restricted and, importantly, in a world facing increasing pressures, consumers are demanding that products they consume are made in a more sustainable manner.

Against that backdrop, effective biological pest control solutions are in high demand and the biocontrol market is expected to grow at double digits for the foreseeable future.

“While early, we see a lot of potential in the enzyme biocontrol technology to complement our current innovation and provide highly efficacious yet sustainable pest control solutions for farmers globally – making a real impact in addressing the major challenges to chemical pesticide usage,” says Ester Baiget Arnau, Novozymes’ President and CEO.

“As the global leader in industrial biotechnology, including enzymes, we are very excited about the expanded potential we have seen for our core enzyme capabilities and technology to now pioneer an important role in pest control in agriculture.”

Recently, Novozymes has increased its strategic commitment to the biocontrol segment – continuing to leverage its more flexible multi-partner setup in BioAg.

From its research, the company sees a potential of enzymes to control numerous microbial and insect pests effectively.

 Going forward, the new efforts with FMC, alongside existing microorganism technology, will form part of a broader Biocontrol Technology Platform.

According to Novozymes and FMC, the enzyme biocontrol technology can potentially support stand-alone products as well as play a critical role in providing comprehensive integrated pest management solutions for farmers. 

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