Sofinnova Partners led this Serie A round, completed by Irdi Soridec Gestion
Toulouse, March 6, 2018 – Micropep Technologies, a company pioneering the development of innovative green solutions to improve the growth and resistance of plants with micro-peptides, announces today that it has successfully completed €4 million round of funding, drawing 2 new Investors – Sofinnova Partners, the leader of the round, and Irdi Soridec Gestion – alongside its existing partner, SATT Toulouse Tech Transfer. Biotech Development Conseils (BDC Lifescience) assisted Micropep in closing this series A funding.
Micropep, which aims to revolutionize the world of agriculture biotechnologies, will use the funds raised to further structure the company, strengthen its industrial property portfolio and develop its technology platformto accelerate the development of its new-generation of agricultural products. The company will strengthen its R&D team to develop its discovery pipeline of new active peptides and work on the industrial feasibility and transposition to semi-controlled environment of the first molecules
Thomas Laurent, CEO of Micropep says: “The completion of this Series A round is a significant milestone for Micropep. To begin with, we would like to thank all of our existing partners for their early support and trust: the Plant Science Research Laboratory, SATT Toulouse Tech Transfer, the Occitanie Région, Bpifrance, Toulouse White Biotechnologies Incubator, etc.Then, we would like to thank our two new investors, Sofinnova Partners and Irdi Soridec Gestion, for their trust. Sofinnova Partners’ arrival is a major milestone for Micropep’s development: their in-depth knowledge of the sector, coupled with a unique network in France and abroad, validates the work accomplished so far and represents a real asset for our future growth and our ambition to revolutionize agriculture biotechnologies.”
miPEPs as a natural solution to transiently regulate gene expression in Plants
Micropep’s revolution consists in identifying and harnessing miRNA-encoded peptides (miPEPs or micropeptides), i.e. natural proteins produced by plants that can be used to temporarily and moderately regulate the expression of genes critical to their development, without DNA modification. Each micropeptide makes it possible to target a specific family of genes in a given plant species, providing the opportunity to develop personalized treatments for plants. For example, micropeptides can be used to speed up or slow down germination, increase plant’s resistance to diseases or even accelerate flowering. Micropep’s research will, for instance, identify corn-specific miPEPs that will improve corn germination vigor without having any effects on the weeds nearby.
This disruptive technology emerged from a fundamental discovery made at the Plant Science Research Laboratory (LRSV) in France and initially funded and supported by Toulouse Tech Transfer (TTT) – the city of Toulouse’s Technology Accelerator and Transfer Company (SATT) – before being transferred to and developed by Micropep Technologies.
Denis Lucquin, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners: “We are delighted to contribute to the development and international recognition of this future leader in green chemistry. We are convinced that our knowledge of the field and its global stakes will allow us to best support Micropep in its ability to revolutionize the paradigms of agriculture.”
Jean-Michel Petit, Investment Director at Irdi Soridec Gestion: “Irdi Soridec Gestion is pleased to support Micropep and its truly innovative approach in agricultural technology. Toulouse and its region have all the assets needed to foster the development of Micropep, including a rich academic environment provided, for instance, by LRSV and Toulouse White Biotechnology, and an industrial environment conducive to agricultural innovation, under the auspices of the competitiveness cluster Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation.”
“We’ve always been convinced by the potential of Micropep. The pairing of two different investors like Irdi Soridec Gestion and Sofinnova Partners, made possible by this fundraising, will allow the company to benefit from an optimal synergy for the development of its technology. We are enthusiastically renewing our support for this unique project, whose breakthrough innovation is on its way to revolutionize the agricultural sector,” says Pierre Dufresne, President of SATT Toulouse Tech Transfer.