A new category of crop protection applications and the potential to revive crop protection mechanisms that have become ineffective due to resistance could be the result of a joint venture between Bayer and US-based biopharmaceutical company Arvinas.
Arvinas is a pioneer in proteolysis-targeting chimera, also known as PROTACs. PROTAC technology harnesses the naturally occurring protein degradation system of the cell to selectively remove target proteins by proteolysis, the breakdown of proteins into amino acids.
In human medicine, PROTAC protein degraders harness the body’s own natural protein disposal system to degrade disease-causing proteins.
Within the framework of the joint venture, Bayer has committed more than $55m over six years to translate the new protein degradation technology in agro chemistry and to build an agro-specific PROTAC IP portfolio.
Bayer says the exploration of novel molecular target space to address weeds, insects and diseases that threaten crops worldwide will be pioneered. As the technology degrades targets rather than inhibiting them, it is said to offer a completely new category of crop protection applications in agriculture. In addition, PROTACs have the potential to revive crop protection mechanisms that have become ineffective due to resistance, says the company.
Dr Robert Reiter, head of crop science research and development at Bayer says: “The goal is to utilise the complementary expertise of Bayer and Arvinas to develop novel research discoveries that ultimately deliver new crop protection products for farmers.
“With this cutting-edge science, we aim to deliver safe and effective solutions that will aid farmers in protecting and producing crops that help to feed a growing global population.”