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Belgian agricultural technology company Biotalys and Italian contract development and manufacturing organisation Olon have entered a partnership for the production of Biotalys’ protein-based biocontrol products.

The long-term partnership was formed to secure the global supply of Biotalys’ newly developed bio fungicide, Evoca, planned for market introduction in the USA pending regulatory approval in the second half of this year, Biotalys said in its 12 January announcement.

Biotalys said Evoca – the first protein-based biocontrol in its portfolio – was aimed at providing fruit and vegetable growers with a new rotation partner in integrated pest management (IPM) programmes and helped control diseases such as Botrytis and powdery mildew, reducing the dependency on chemical pesticides.

Evoca is pending registration and is not currently on sale.

As part of the partnership, Olon would produce Evoca’s active ingredient at its Italian biotech manufacturing sites in Capua and Settimo Torinese, Biotalys said.

The Capua fermentation facility operates a range of bioreactors of up to 35m³, while the facility in Settimo Torinese can produce batches up to 112m³ – well above the current capacity for Biotalys’ products, according to the statement, signifying a major step forward in terms of production efficiency and scalability.

Olon would handle the fermentation process of the products developed by Biotalys in its Ghent laboratories, purifying them into the technical intermediate which an external provider would then formulate into the end products, the statement said.

“Olon will be able to provide us with the quantity of product we need for the planned market calibration, while ensuring it meets all regulatory, quality and safety specifications,” Biotalys CEO Patrice Sellès said.

“Upon formulation, the end product will give growers a new tool to use in integrated pest management programs to fight devastating fungal diseases in many fruits and vegetables.”

Biotalys said it had submitted Evoca for registration to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the USA in December 2020 and the company expected to receive EPA approval in the second half of this year. Last April, the company also submitted Evoca for approval in California – a state which performs its own review.

In the EU, Biotalys said it had received confirmation from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Dutch Board for the Authorisation of Plant Protection Products and Biocides (Ctgb) that the registration dossier it submitted last March for Evoca was admissible for review.