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Crop Biotech Firm AgBiome Raises $14.5M in Series A Financing Round

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Crop biotechnology firm AgBiome today said it has raised $14.5 million in a Series A financing round.

Polaris Partners led the round and was joined by Arch Venture Partners, Harris & Harris Group, Innotech Advisers, and other strategic investors. The financing will go toward furthering the Research Triangle Park, NC-based firm's R&D efforts and support the launch of its initial products, it said.

AgBiome's first product is a biological product for controlling the predominant soil-borne diseases of greenhouse and major row crops. It also applies genomic and screening technologies for the identification of plant-associated microbes that enhance plant health, pest resistance, and yield.

The company was founded by Jeff Dangl, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and the John N. Couch Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Paul Schulze-Lefert, director at the Max-Planck Institute for Plant Breeding in Cologne, Germany. Other co-founders include Scott Uknes and Eric Ward, the co-CEOs AgBiome.

Metabolon CEO John Ryals and Xinehta CEO Mike Koziel also are co-founders of AgBiome.