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Agricultural protection set to become more selective

Crop protection

28 November 2019

Chemicals currently used to protect crops have been found to have a negative impact on the environment. A new class of chemicals is set to change that.

Muriel Cozier

Agro giant Bayer has finalised an agreement with US-based biotechnology company, Arvinas, to jointly launch a new company, Oerth Bio, which will use Arvinas’ protein degradation technology PROTAC to develop novel agricultural products to protect against crop losses.

A PROTAC is a small molecule with two binding regions; one end binds to a ligase enzyme and the other to the disease-causing protein to be degraded. The linker region in between is critical for specifically directing the molecule to the targeted protein. PROTAC technology is already in Phase 1 trials for prostate and breast cancer; however the new Bayer collaboration will extend the technology to agricultural applications.

Oerth Bio said that PROTACs are a new weapon in the fight against weeds etc. It acts only in its controlled environment and holds enormous potential for higher safety standards and more selective protection.  

For further details visit this month’s Chemistry & Industry.

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