Evoca™ shown to be an ideal partner in integrated pest management programs for strawberries and grapes
Ghent, BELGIUM and Research Triangle Park (NC), UNITED STATES – 15 November 2021, 07:00 CET — Biotalys (Euronext - BTLS), an Agricultural Technology (AgTech) company focused on addressing food protection challenges with protein-based biocontrol solutions, today announced the strong performance of its first protein-based biofungicide Evoca™* in independent efficacy field trials conducted by a number of highly reputed public institutes in 2021.
Evoca™ is aimed at providing fruit and vegetable growers with a new rotation partner in integrated pest management programs to help control devastating fungal diseases such as Botrytis and powdery mildew, reducing dependency on chemical pesticides and corresponding residues in harvested produce and offering a distinctive new tool to manage pathogen resistance development.
The extension trials for grapes and strawberries, conducted by a number of prestigious independent academic institutions in the United States, are industry gold-standard studies which provide growers and crop advisors with detailed information on the performance of existing and pipeline crop protection products. In all of the trials conducted in 2021, the final commercial formulation of Evoca™ was tested among many other treatments and non-treated control plots, enabling the comparison of its performance with conventional chemical and biological fungicide products. Full results of these trials are being made public by the respective institutions.
Luc Maertens, COO of Biotalys, said: “The outcomes of this year’s independent field trials show that Evoca™ consistently performs as well as established market leaders when used in integrated pest management programmes, further validating our novel approach and technology. We believe that Evoca™, as a fully-biodegradable, protein-based product, has great potential as a partner for rotation that is safe and easy to use, offering a new modality to protect against resistance and reduce environmental impact while maintaining crop yields.”
These independent trials represent one element of Biotalys’ broader testing programme ahead of the planned market calibration launch of Evoca™, starting in the United States in late 2022 – pending regulatory approval. Biotalys’ ongoing global fruit and vegetable trial program has now reached over 450 trials across multiple regions, pathogens and crops, providing data essential for both regulatory and product development and positioning purposes, as well as the development of next products.
Biotalys submitted Evoca™ for registration to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States in December 2020 and expects to receive EPA approval in H2 2022. Biotalys also submitted for approval in California in April 2021, as this State performs its own in-depth review. In the European Union, Biotalys received confirmation from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the College forapproval of crop protection products and biocides (Ctgb) that the registration dossier submitted in March 2021 for the active substance of Evoca™ is admissible for review.
Summary of trials and results
In all the studies referred to below, Evoca™ was identified as EXP14 to guarantee unbiased results. For each trial, a link is added to where the results of the relevant study were published.
A. University of California Davis (Primary Investigator Dr. Akif Eskalen) – 2021 grapevine trials
Botrytis fruit rot (BFR) (https://ucanr.edu/sites/eskalenlab/files/357290.pdf)
Across a total of 38 different treatment programs, three entries compared Evoca™ to synthetic and some biological fungicides in prevention of BFR. Treatments were applied three times throughout the trial (bloom, pre-closure, and veraison). Evoca™ treaments were mixed with adjuvants but not mixed or rotated with any other fungicides.
Evoca™, applied with an adjuvant, had the second lowest mean disease incidence of Botrytis of all the treatments, and all three Evoca™ treatments performed better than the un-treated control.
|Untreated||Treated with Evoca™ mixed with an adjuvant|
Powdery Mildew (https://ucanr.edu/sites/eskalenlab/files/355630.pdf)
Evoca™ was included in three treatment entries across a total of 65 treatment programs in this trial. Evoca™ at the label recommended rate was mixed with the same adjuvants as in the Botrytis trial and rotated with sprayable sulfur that is efficacious against powdery mildew.
Treatments were applied once a week, swapping between sprayable sulfur and Evoca™. In all three Evoca™ treatment entries no powdery mildew was observed.
|Untreated||Treated with Evoca™ mixed with an adjuvant and rotated with a sprayable sulfur|
B. University of Florida (Primary Investigator, Dr. Natalia Peres) – 2020/2021 strawberry trials
Evoca™ was assessed in six treatments across this study. Treatments included rotations of Evoca™ at two doses with two synthetic fungicides.
The rotations of Evoca™ with the synthetic fungicides provided disease incidence levels equivalent to other synthetic only rotations and improved yields drastically over the untreated controls.
Biotalys entered six treatments into this study. Four treatments included rotations of Evoca™ with two synthetic fungicides.
The rotations of Evoca™ with synthetic materials provided disease incidence levels equivalent to other synthetic-only rotations and improved yields and disease reduction drastically over the untreated controls.
C. California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, Strawberry Center (Primary Investigator, Kyle Blaur & Dr. Gerald Holmes) – 2021 strawberry trials
Botrytis fruit rot (BFR)
(https://content-calpoly-edu.s3.amazonaws.com/strawberry/1/images/H.%20Blauer- Field%20Day%20Handout%202021%20V2.pdf and https://content-calpoly- edu.s3.amazonaws.com/strawberry/1/documents/PF002 Botrytis early 2020.pdf)
Evoca™ was tested in rotation alone, and with adjuvants in a total of five different application combinations. Post-harvest incubation of fruit occurred at ambient temperature, with assessments taken 6 days after harvest.
Evoca™, alternating with one synthetic fungicide, showed incidence of BFR which was statistically significantly lower than in the non-treated control plots, and among the top five lowest disease incidence treatments.
D. University of California Davis Cooperative Extension (Primary Investigator, Dr. Surendra Dara) – 2021 strawberry trials
Botrytis fruit rot (BFR) (https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=50267)
Evoca™ was included in two treatment entries across a total of 25 treatment programs overall and was compared to both synthetic and some biological fungicides.
By the conclusion of the trial none of the treatments – including full synthetic programs – showed statistically significant improvement over the untreated control after the fourth spray application or for the average of four applications during the trial, leading to less conclusive results for all products tested on the basis of this trial.
* 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 focused on addressing food protection challenges 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 has developed 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.
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