Danforth Plant Science Center Launches First Company from New Startup Development Subsidiary

The Danforth Technology Co. (DTC), a subsidiary launched earlier this year by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to help create startups from its campus, recently established its first company.

Peptyde Bio, a startup focused on discovering and designing novel antimicrobial peptides, which are proteins that plants naturally produce that protect them from diseases, was founded by a pair of Danforth Center researchers.

Peptyde plans to partner with agricultural businesses that will be able to use its peptides to commercialize new fungicides that can serve as alternatives to chemical pesticide products.

“One of the advantages of this technology is it is clean, natural technology and we demonstrated that these antimicrobial peptides can be as effective as the chemicals that are used today,” said Tom Laurita, CEO of DTC and Interim CEO of Peptyde.

Laurita says Peptyde is developing predictive, computational biology platform artificial intelligences to speed up its process of identifying and designing peptides that can be used as fungicides to help plants stave off diseases.

Peptyde was also recently selected as one of five agtech startups for the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²), which includes companies using the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to advance research and development initiatives.

Missouri’s agtech industry is leading the way with innovative technology and research in plant science and animal health that is transforming agriculture. Across Missouri, leading agtech organizations including the Danforth Plant Science CenterBayer CropScienceBoehringer Ingelheim, the Missouri Botanical GardenDuPontBASFBunge, and more are developing new technology that is shaping the future of agriculture.

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