Advancing Research to Support Smallholder Farmers

Advancing Research to Support Smallholder Farmers

Research Triangle Park, NC

April 26, 2022


Crop protection innovator awarded grant from the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation to expand research initiatives to combat pathogens destroying crop outcomes.

5Metis, Inc., a recently formed pure-play discovery company specializing in crop health, is expanding its research in the area of crop protection with the intention of supporting smallholder farming communities in the developing world. These communities, often underserved by commercial agriculture, are disproportionately affected by damaging pathogens and unfavorable climate conditions that negatively impact crop production outcomes, often leading to significant crop loss. Through its research, 5Metis aims to tackle crop loss by improving pathogen-control methodologies for greater plant health and more profitable production outcomes.

Founded in 2021, 5Metis raised $10 million from private investors in a Series A Preferred Stock financing round lead by Ospraie Ag Science. “Our company is strategically focused on improving crop protection solutions by offering new modes of action that leverage molecular evolution and innovative science,” said Steven Tuttle, President and CEO of 5Metis. “Directing a portion of our research toward a particular geography allows us to not only investigate pathogens that have an adverse impact on a specific population but also to provide much needed support to smallholder farmers historically underserved by the crop protection industry.”

5Metis’s approach to research unites proprietary technology with scientific chemistry to deliver naturally-derived solutions that can ultimately provide effective control against harmful pathogens. Now, thanks to a multi-year grant awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 5Metis can elevate research initiatives by expanding its team as well as its laboratory and greenhouse footprint in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The award from the foundation will augment 5Metis’s goal to develop effective, low-cost novel fungicides with low toxicity and a broad antifungal spectrum.

“Expanding our research program will expedite discoveries in new modes of action to provide control in a safe and sustainable manner,” said Brian Green, Chief Scientific Officer for 5Metis. “The need fueling this research is great. When left uncontrolled, the pathogens we are targeting can devastate those depending on crop production for economic security.”

About 5Metis

Headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC, 5Metis is a new pure-play discovery company for crop health. Founded in 2021, the company is the result of a union of Boragen and AgriMetis platforms, to combine boron-based small molecule discovery and synthetic biology for discovering new modes of action. 5Metis has a business model focus of R&D partnerships on de-risked compounds with an attractive biological profile.


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