Troubled AgBiome sells brands to Certis Biologicals

March 30, 2024

AgBiome has sold its Howler and Theia biofungicides to Certis Biologicals, raising a question mark on the future of the Durham-based biotech company.

On 17 October 2023, the North Carolina Department of Commerce listed AgBiome among its Workforce WARN report. The accompanying note said 123 staff would be on ‘permanent layoff’ effective from 15 December 2023. This is still to be confirmed by AgBiome.

However, the sale of its two main products raises questions about the future of the company, which has raised $230 million in four funding rounds since it was established in 2012.

In its March 2023 statement, Certis Biologicals said that it had acquired “multiple assets” from AgBiome, including the biofungicides Howler and Theia.

“Howler and Theia complement our existing portfolio of biofungicides, including Double Nickel and our newest product for large-acre crops, Convergence,” said Chris Judd, vice president, North America, Certis Biologicals. “These products will constitute a fungicide portfolio that can provide unmatched control for all growers, from specialty and high-value crops to large-acre commodity crops.”

Scott Rabe, AgBiome’s Head of Product Development, was quoted in the Certis Biologicals release.

“AgBiome’s products, Howler and Theia fungicides, are the most effective biological fungicides with unique modes of action and efficacy similar to synthetic chemicals but with substantial environmental benefits,” said Rabe. “We are delighted that a company like Certis Biologicals, with a deep commitment to these products, will steward their future growth and development. Now, more growers than ever will be able to see firsthand the benefits of these products.”

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