Aphea.Bio submits application to U.S. EPA for biofungicides

May 10, 2024

Belgium-based Aphea.Bio, a provider of microbial solutions for agriculture, has submitted applications for VALORIA and VIRTUOSA, its first biofungicides, to obtain federal approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

VALORIA and VIRTUOSA are the first biofungicides derived from Aphea.Bio’s technology platform, APEXbio. The company stated this high-throughput R&D platform accelerates the discovery process of thousands of naturally-occurring micro-organisms, leading to next-generation biostimulant and biocontrol products.

The two new microbial-based biofungicides are designed for foliar application throughout the growing season: VALORIA for wheat, and VIRTUOSA for fruit and vegetables. Based on a Streptomyces strain, they offer ease of use, a two-year shelf life at ambient temperatures, and are mixable and compatible with existing agricultural chemicals.

Effective against a broad spectrum of diseases, they protect wheat against head blight, yellow rust, leaf blotch and powdery mildew, and fruit and vegetables against diseases such as grey mold and powdery mildew. “The bacterial strain does not have one specific mode of action but derives biological efficacy through a combination of modes of action,” Charlotte Klank, Aphea.Bio’s head of regulatory affairs, told New AG International.

The application submissions follow three years of extensive field testing, conducted by Aphea.Bio and validated by external partners. All studies confirm that the microbial strain has a very low risk profile, with no adverse effects observed in toxicity studies and no ecotoxicological risks identified.

“We are excited to submit our first biofungicides VALORIA and VIRTUOSA, for EPA registration. This marks a significant milestone, demonstrating the versatility and efficacy of our technology platform APEXbio in delivering not only biostimulants but also biocontrol solutions,” said Isabel Vercauteren, CEO of Aphea.Bio. “We are looking forward to the introduction of more innovative biocontrol products across many crops and countries in the coming years.”

The company will soon proceed with international registrations and file application submissions in the European Union and California. Klank noted “we currently expect to have the products authorized in mid 2026.”

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