French agricultural biotech firm Micropep picks up $10m Series A

Micropep, a French agricultural biotech company, has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

Micropep, a French agricultural biotech company, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Supernova Invest led the round with participation from FMC Ventures, Sofinnova Partners and IRDI Capital Investissement.

PRESS RELEASE

Toulouse, France – 8 July 2021 – Micropep technologies (Micropep), an agricultural biotech company developing breakthrough peptide-based biological products for agriculture, today announces it has raised EUR 8.5 million(USD 10 million) in an oversubscribed Series A investment led by new investor Supernova Invest with participation from FMC Ventures, and existing investors Sofinnova Partners and IRDI Capital Investissement.

Based in Toulouse, France, Micropep was spun out fromCentre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) and Toulouse University in 2016, a centre of excellence for AgriTech. The company has developed a proprietary technology to precisely enhance plant traits without altering DNA by spraying “miPEPs”, a unique family of natural peptides regulating plant microRNAs.

miPEPs will influence all plant phenotypes regulated by microRNAs including, germination, early growth, disease resistance and flowering. Leveraging the potential of these natural peptides, the company is now developing a pipeline of “sprayable traits” biosolutions to control resistant weeds such as Palmer Amaranth and protect plants against major diseases, primarily targeting the $28 billion American and European herbicides and fungicides markets.

Romain Sautrau, Investment Director at Supernova Invest will join the Board of Directors and Sara Olson, Principal at FMC Ventures, along with Jean-Michel Petit, Investment Director at IRDI Capital Investissement will be joining as Observers to the Board.
Thomas Laurent, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, said: “In an industry that has been challenged by a shrinking discovery pipeline, active ingredients that are slowly being phased out and increased pest and weeds resistance to chemicals, our technology provides a ground-breaking alternative. Peptides and small proteins have a great potential for sustainable crop protection solutions and Micropep isproud to lead the field in this area.

Using our proprietary discovery platform we can improve plant health naturally, using the plant’s own mechanisms, identifying novel and safe active ingredients with a 100x better hit rate compared with conventional methods. This financing will allow us to begin field testing of our promising compounds, the next milestone in commercialising our product.”
Romain Sautrau, Investment Director at Supernova Invest, said: “Micropep’s cutting edge technology has the potential to disrupt tomorrow’s agriculture. As a committed investor in promising deeptech companies, we look forward to leveraging our extensive experience in AgriTech to back Thomas and his best-in-class platform in order to build a new market leader.”

Denis Lucquin, Partner and Senior Advisor at SofinnovaPartners, commented:“We are delighted to see the progress at Micropep, a company where Sofinnova was the first investor. We look forward to working with this talented team and group of renowned investors as Micropep continues to validate and scale up its exciting technology targeting disease control and weed suppression.”

Amar Singh, Managing Director of FMC Ventures, said: “Micropep’s pioneering technology can enhance plant traits without altering plant DNA and circumvents the challenges of GMOs and costs of RNAi. This novel approach has the potential to develop first-in-class biological ‘traits’ – a game changer set against a landscape of regulatory headwinds, emerging resistance, and a global push for sustainable crop protection technologies.”

Kevin Smith, Chairman of the Board of Directors, concluded: “The success of the latest fundraising round confirms the confidence of our world-class syndicate of investors in Micropep’s exceptional potential to radically transform agriculture with unique and differentiated biosolutions which will contribute to satisfying consumer demand for improved food safety.”

About Micropep Technologies
Micropep was founded in 2016 in Toulouse, France, as a spin out from Toulouse University, a centre of excellence for AgriTech. The company has developed an innovative discovery platform for the development of novel peptide-based biological products for agriculture. It identifies and enhances the expression of naturally occurring, micro-RNA derived, regulatory peptides (miPEPs) that can transiently regulate the expression of plants’ microRNAs and their targeted genes conferring resistance to pathogens and increasing plant health. The Company has been supported by Sofinnova and Irdi Soridec since 2018. For more information, please visit https://www.micro-pep.com/