New cooperation between Bayer and Oerth Bio aims to advance innovations in crop protection

Oerth Bio’s unique PROTAC ® protein degradation technology supports the development of more sustainable crop protection products / Oerth Bio’s expertise in the development of PROTAC ® molecules for agriculture will continue to be integrated with the global testing, development and commercialization infrastructure for leading crop protection technologies Bayer combines / partnership builds on the success of the Leaps by Bayer and Arvinas joint venture established in 2019 after first milestones were reached 

Bayer and the agricultural biotechnology company Oerth Bio are starting a new research collaboration. The goal is to develop the next generation of more sustainable crop protection products. The unique protein degradation technology used by Oerth Bio has the potential to make crop protection products more environmentally friendly – one of Bayer’s sustainability goals. This should be made possible on the one hand by a lower dosage and on the other hand by a better safety profile.

Oerth Bio was founded in 2019 by Leaps by Bayer, Bayer’s impact investment unit, and Arvinas. Arvinas is a clinical research biotechnology company pioneering the development of targeted protein degradation molecules for new therapies. PROTAC ® (PROteolysis TARgeting Chimera), Oerth Bio’s patented protein degradation technology, was originally developed to fight cancer and other difficult-to-treat diseases. It opens up innovative possibilities for completely new solutions in crop protection and for more climate-resilient agriculture. Oerth Bio is the first and only company researching agricultural solutions based on PROTAC ® technology.

“Farmers around the world need reliable and sustainable crop protection solutions. The PROTAC technology for protein degradation is a new, promising avenue for the development of tailor-made technologies,” says Dr. Robert Reiter, Head of Research & Development at Bayer’s Crop Science Division. “The protein degradation technology is already being used in medicine. We assume that it will be an important cornerstone for the development of new crop protection products that have far less impact on the environment. Oerth Bio’s work has proven promising and we look forward to the next phase of our collaboration.”

The molecules developed by Oerth Bio for targeted protein degradation open up opportunities for the development of high-precision products that enable lower dosage and counteract biological resistance. The molecules are designed to attack only a single target protein. Non-target and beneficial organisms are not affected in this way. The PROTAC ® molecules activate a special, naturally occurring process in the target organisms. Due to the extremely precise effect of the molecules, only very specific processes in weeds, diseases or insects are interrupted. These combined properties open up an attractive avenue for the development of novel crop protection products that are both environmentally friendly and highly effective.

“The cooperation strengthens our ambition to develop the world’s first solutions for the agricultural application of protein degradation technology,” adds John Dombrosky, CEO of Oerth Bio. “We owe this pioneering role to Bayer’s vision. Bayer invests significant sums in breakthrough innovations that can change agriculture and the world for the better.” Oerth Bio has set itself the goal of fully exploiting the potential of PROTAC ® technology so that farmers and the entire food production can benefit from it.

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