Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBII) (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for agriculture, turf and ornamental and water treatment markets, has received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on its newest biological fungicide, Stargus(TM). This product is the sixth product commercialized by MBI in only 11 years.
The product is based on a new strain of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens discovered by MBI, targeted to downy mildews, white molds, Botrytis gray mold and bunch rot. The fungicide also controls pathogenic soil fungi, including diseases such as Fusarium and Rhizoctonia, as shown in field trials in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Stargus(TM) is the new brand name and will be focused on specialty crops such as grapes, and leafy greens. It will also be labeled for use on root and bulb vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and onions. MBI expects first sales when state registrations are granted.
Growers have few choices of products that perform well on the group of fungi that cause downy mildews on grapes, potatoes, leafy greens and other crops, as well as white molds on leafy greens, succulent and dry beans. Adding to the challenge, these crop disease-causing plant pathogens have also developed resistance to major chemistry classes of conventional pesticides. Stargus(TM) is the result of MBI’s directed screening discovery program to find a solution that addresses such a specific market need. This product is also complementary and additive to the broad spectrum of diseases covered by MBI’s first biofungicide, Regalia, providing a solid one-two punch to a broad spectrum of plant pathogens. MBI and partners also are testing this Bacillus-based product for seed treatment applications.
“We knew that new solutions for downy mildews were badly needed, so our team of scientists set out to find one,” said Dr. Pam Marrone, MBI’s Founder and CEO. “Our screening platform tested more than 16,000 microbes against important plant pathogens and discovered this novel candidate with a broad spectrum of performance and stand-out activity against downy mildews, Botrytis gray mold/bunch rots and white molds. This is the sixth EPA-registered product that MBI has brought to market on only 11 years, which is an unparalleled accomplishment.”
Tests conducted at MBI’s research and development lab show that Stargus(TM) works by colonizing plant root hairs, leaves and other plant surfaces thereby preventing establishment of fungal and bacterial pathogens, including Fusarium, Sclerotinia, Botrytis, Rhizoctonia, and Sclerotium. Additional R&D indicates that the bacterium also produces natural compounds, some of which inhibit bacterial and fungal mycelial growth, as well as spore germination. In addition, the bacteria trigger systemic acquired resistance and induced systemic responses in the plant, creating a healthier and stronger plant to ward off diseases and increase growth and yield. MBI has been issued a patent on the novel strain used in Stargus(TM).
Field studies showed efficacy against downy mildew, Botrytis bunch rot and black rot on grapes, downy mildew on cucurbits, pink rot, white mold and late blight on potatoes, Cercospora leaf spot on sugar beets, Fusarium of tomato and celery, and white mold on soybean, sunflower, beans, lettuce and canola, and soil applications on potatoes for control of Rhizoctonia and Phytophthora eurythroseptica (pink rot). MBI also is testing for seed treatment applications and is investigating applications for turf and ornamental markets. Successful field trials have been conducted in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Europe.
The biofungicide product has been submitted to Canada and Mexico for approval and the dossier is being prepared for Europe, which has the largest market for grape downy mildew. In France, depending on the year, production of grapes has been estimated to be reduced by as much as 50% from downy mildew.
About Marrone Bio Innovations
Smart. Natural. Solutions.
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBII) strives to lead the movement to a more sustainable world through the discovery, development and promotion of biological products for pest management and plant health. MBI’s effective and environmentally responsible pest management solutions help customers operate more sustainably while uniquely improving plant health and increasing crop yields. MBI currently has six commercially available products (Regalia, Grandevo, Venerate, Majestene, Haven(TM) and Zequanox) as well as eight product candidates in various stages of the company’s rapid development pipeline. MBI also distributes Bio-tam 2.0 for Isagro USA and Jet-Ag for Jet Harvest in most regions of the U.S.
Marrone Bio Innovations is dedicated to pioneering smart biopesticide solutions that support a better tomorrow for both farmers and consumers around the globe. For more information, please visit www.marronebio.com.
Marrone Bio Innovations Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding strategy, future operations and plans, including assumptions underlying such statements, are forward-looking statements, and should not be relied upon as representing MBI’s views as of any subsequent date. Examples of such statements include statements regarding the potential of Stargus in the market, market projections, including the potential benefits of Stargus, and MBI’s plans for expanding additional label uses and international expansion. Such forward-looking statements are based on information available to the Company as of the date of this release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some beyond the Company’s control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements, including consumer, regulatory and other factors affecting demand for the MBI’s products, any difficulty in marketing MBI’s products in its target markets inside and outside the United States, competition in the market for pest management products, lack of understanding of bio-based pest management products by customers and growers. Additional information that could lead to material changes in MBI’s performance is contained in its filings with the SEC. MBI is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to, update or alter forward-looking statements contained in this release, whether as a result of current information, future events or otherwise.
Marrone Bio Innovations Contacts:
Pam Marrone, CEO and Founder
Andre Trepanier, Director of Marketing
Telephone: +1 (530) 750-2800
MBI Investor Relations:
MZ Group – MZ North America
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