New Research Shows Pheronym Treated Nematodes 28% – 78% More Effective In Pest Control

Peer-reviewed Study Supports Pheronym’s Approach to Nematode Bio-remediation as Economical and Effective for Commercial Deployment

DAVIS, CA – May 14, 2019 – Pheronym, an ag-biotech pest control company, announced today the results of a study supporting the commercial efficacy of their breakthrough bio-remediation technology. In tests, commercially available beneficial nematodes exposed to their patented Nemastim™ pheromone extracts were 28% – 78% more effective controlling pecan weevils and black soldier flies than non-exposed nematodes. The research, led by Dr. David Shapiro-Ilan, an entomologist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, along with ARS research associate Dr. Oliveira-Hofman, and co-authored by Dr. Ed Lewis, head of the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology at the University of Idaho, is currently featured in “The Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, Volume 164” and can be accessed through “Science Direct” at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jip.2019.04.008.

“In biological control approaches, it is usually the prey’s natural pheromone that is used to lure the predators or parasitoids to kill the pest. To our knowledge, this is the first time a predator’s or parasite’s own pheromone was used to improve its effectiveness in attacking its prey,” said Dr. Shapiro-Ilan.

“Not only was this approach extremely effective in boosting nematodes’ ability to control pests, the use of pheromones as created by Pheronym promises to be economically feasible, as only a small amount of concentrated pheromone extract solution activates the nematodes,” added Dr. Lewis.

“The next step is to begin commercial production,” said Dr. Fatma Kaplan, CEO of Pheronym. “The benefits of this approach including enhanced efficacy, reduced costs and increased sustainability, are exactly the things that our agricultural customers are asking for and consumers of produce are demanding.”

The publishing of this study caps off a year of milestones for Pheronym, having secured more than $1 million in grants from agencies, including the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I and Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) programs, and being selected to conduct the first ever agriculture bio-control experiment in space, in collaboration with USDA, aboard the International Space Station National Laboratory with a launch date scheduled for Dec. 4, 2019.

Pheronym is among 25 synthetic biology companies that raised funds in 2019 Q1

Synthetic biology investment in the midwest topped the Bay Area in Q1 by John Murray at Synbiobeta

2019 Q1 report companies

Whether it’s Motown music or Boston biotech, innovation happens quicker in some places than others. And in synthetic biology, Boston and the Bay Area have always set the pace. The reasons are well known. Decades of smart policy decisions paved the way for today’s virtuous circle of innovation and investment. But Q1 funding for synthetic biology brought some surprises. Keep reading.

Startup of the Month: Pheronym

By Russell Nichols at Comstock’s Magazine

Nematodes pose a conundrum to farmers. The worm-like microscopic creatures are everywhere. Some are parasitic, infecting plants and destroying crops — but others actually attack insect pests. The ability to target the “bad” while leaving the “good” unharmed would be a boon for agricultural production.

That’s the mission at Pheronym, a Davis-based agriculture biotech startup Keep Reading

Davis ag-tech startup to launch nematodes into space

By   – Staff Writer, Sacramento Business Journal

Davis soil-science startup Pheronym Inc. will test its biological pest controls in orbit later this year as part of a mission on the International Space Station.

The research will help Pheronym understand nematodes’, or roundworms’, biological functioning on Earth, and potentially help astronauts feed themselves in future space missions.

The space effort is also garnering attention for the small company, which is currently housed in the UC Davis-HM.CLAUSE Life Science Innovation Center in Davis. The space station effort has a Twitter handleits own website and an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

Keep Reading