Grant will expand the use of company’s

breakthrough nematode bio-remediation technology

DAVIS, California, and ALACHUA, Florida, August 21, 2018 – Pheronym, a bio-ag-tech pest control company, has been awarded a $500,000 USDA-AFRI (United States Department of Agriculture – Agriculture and Food Research Initiative) multi-institutional research grant to expand its breakthrough insect control and nematode bio-remediation technology to other nematode species.

“The grant is further validation that our approach to bio-remediation is a serious, science-based effort towards pesticide-free pest control,” said Dr. Fatma Kaplan, CEO of Pheronym and Co-Project Director. “It’s another positive step to broad commercialization of our technology and Nemastim™ product offering. “

Pheronym uses its proprietary pheromones to control entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs or beneficial nematodes) for insect pest control and plant-parasitic nematodes, providing farmers with more cost-effective and environmentally friendly pest control.

“I have conducted research on EPNs for over 20 years. Using Pheronym’s chemical signals to enhance nematode dispersal—leading to increased infection in insects—is an extremely exciting concept. I feel it has exceptional promise that we will explore for greatly improving EPNs’ efficacy,” said USDA-ARS partner Dr. David Shapiro-Ilan and Project Director for the grant.

About Pheronym: Pheronym is an ag-biotech pest control company which enables pesticide-free farming, based in ALACHUA, Florida and DAVIS, California.  The company’s bio-remediation process uses a new pheromone to control plant-parasitic nematodes (microscopic roundworms) in an eco-friendly way and also beneficial nematodes’ efficacy to eliminate pest insects.  Learn more at

A2I Symposium

We are very honored to be a featured speaker at the Inaugural UF-A2i  Symposium by Center for Stress Resilient Agriculture at the Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center, Gainesville, FL.

My talk about “Working for startups” at 3 PM on August 15.  I had a very enthusiastic group of students and postdocs who had many questions about startups.

Pheronym CEO, Dr. Kaplan, and Lab Manager, Ms. Gentil-Perret, at the A2i Symposium at UF.

Incubating Pheronym: The first nematode pheromone company

We have successfully completed the proof of concept trials for our first product, Nemastim, which is now ready for customer demonstrations. We could not have done any of it without entrepreneurial catalysts: mentorship programs, incubators, and accelerators. In biology, enzymes are biological catalysts that lower the high energy barrier in a reaction. Enzymes lower the activation energy to speed up the reactions. Incubators, accelerators, and mentorship programs are entrepreneurial catalysts. They speed up technology development by lowering barriers such as funds, infrastructure, keep reading.

Germinare Agro

Our co-founder Karl C. Schiller is listening to Brazilian farmers’ problems and presenting our exciting technology for agricultural pest control in Fresno, CA. We would like to thank Germinare for organizing this event and giving Karl an opportunity to talk to Brazilian farmers. 



Pheronym is one of 33 synthetic biology companies just raised in 2018 Q2

synthetic biology companies

SynBioBeta’s 2018 Q2 funding update: The last quarter saw the biggest funding for synthetic biology for any three-month period in history.

The year started on a record-setting pace, with 27 synthetic biology companies raising $650 million in private and public funding in Q1. That was twice the amount raised in the same period last year. Then Q2 came along and beat it in every metric: 33 companies raised $925 million, up by a factor of 4 from last year.

Keep reading

Presenting Pheronym’s technology to Limagrain CEO and Board of directors

It was very exciting to present our technology to Limagrain CEO and Board of directors at HM Clause UC-Davis Life Science Innovation Center.  We had 40 board of directors came from France to visit to see HM Clause facility in Davis.

Nemastim: how we use it to improve the efficacy of the beneficial nematodes which are used as a biological control agent to control insect pests. We showed live emerging beneficial nematodes from consumed insect host cadaver.

They are really remarkable.  The insect you see is not insect anymore.  It is actually full of beneficial nematodes.