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7 March 2018

SATT Toulouse stimulates Micropep’s $5m series A

Micropep hopes to outmode weed killers and plant stimulants by organically controlling the plant's gene expression.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Micropep Technologies, a France-based agrochemical spinout from Laboratoire de Recherche en Sciences Végétales (LSRV), raised €4m ($5m) yesterday in a series A round that featured regional tech transfer office SATT Toulouse Tech Transfer.

The round was led by VC firm Sofinnova Partners, which contributed $4.4m through its industrial biotech-focused fund Sofinnova IB I, and also featured state-backed seed fund IRDInov, according to Les Echos.

SATT Toulouse acts as the regional tech transfer office for the Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées region. It established Micropep in 2016 based on research at LSRV, a lab jointly managed by Paul Sabatier University and the French National Centre for Scientific Research.

Micropep Technologies is developing a non-genetically modified alternative to agrochemicals such as weed killers and plant stimulants. The approach utilises the micro-peptides inherent within each plant to control gene expression without altering the plant’s DNA.

The spinout’s development currently concentrates on four areas – germination, flowering, plant growth and weed control. The capital will help drive further development as it embarks on an internationally-focused growth strategy.

The company reportedly aims to produce an industrial proof-of-concept within two years and will then seek additional funding to aid with its marketing campaign.

Thomas Laurent, chief executive and co-founder of Micropep, said: “Sofinnova Partners’ support represents a major step for Micropep’s development.

“Their expert knowledge combined with an unparalleled international network, validates the work we accomplished so far and represents a strong advantage for our growth and our ambition to revolutionise agriculture.”

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