Nemgenix Establishes Crop Protection Unit

01 September 2012

Western Australia’s only agricultural biotechnology company, Nemgenix Pty Ltd, announces today it has established a Crop Protection business unit which will undertake the discovery and development of new pesticides. The initial focus of the unit will be the discovery of novel nematicides.

The company’s Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Michael Jones, said:

“Nematodes are devastating root pathogens which cause crop losses estimated at around US$120 billion per annum. With many frontline nematicides either too expensive to apply on a large scale or otherwise too environmentally damaging, the time has come to develop new chemical approaches.”

Working with leading European research institutes Nemgenix is developing an integrated in silico pesticide discovery platform known as ‘i-QUEST™’. This will combine with the company’s bioassay capabilities and field trial resources to provide a ‘screen to field’ pesticide development capability.

Commenting on the new business unit, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Sean Hird said:

“By adopting a rigorous informatics driven approach to identifying new chemical leads, we will mirror the successful approach taken by the drug discovery industry in their pursuit of new pharmaceutical compounds. Many of the resources and tools already exist to meet the challenge, and we are uniquely placed to add to these and bring them together to create an integrated approach to discovering not just nematicides but other pesticides as well.”

- end -

For more information contact:

Corporate - Dr Sean Hird, CEO
Scientific - Prof Mike Jones, CSO