ImmunRise Biocontrol has announced that it has raised 5 million euros [5.11 million USD] to accelerate the final development phases of its “amphidinium carterae” microalgae and to bring a biopesticide solution to agriculture for a wide spectrum of diseases.

Created in 2015 by Lionel Navarro, research director at the CNRS, and Laurent de Crasto, agricultural engineer and oenologist, ImmunRise Biocontrol, a spin-off of the French Ecole Normale Supérieure, has been committed to the agroecological transition since its creation, having developed concrete solutions to protect crops with natural and biodegradable products, for healthy and sustainable agriculture, in line with the governmental plan “Ecophyto II+”, which aims to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides by 50% by 2025.

Effect of microalgae on the fusarium graminearum growth / Credit: ImmunRise Biocontrol

Alongside the Baron Philippe de Rothschild (BPhR) Group, a key player in French viticulture, the company now has the DE SANGOSSE group, a leader in biocontrol solutions based in the New Aquitaine region, in its capital.

“These funds will help us take the final steps towards marketing our product in 2026 before deploying our activity in Europe,” explains Laurent de Crasto, CEO of ImmunRise Biocontrol.

Proven efficiency and new markets opening each year
Over the last three years, 100 treatments have been carried out on numerous crops. With the support of the New Aquitaine region, ImmunRise Biocontrol has been able to develop strong synergies with key players of the local agricultural market in order to evaluate and improve the solution: in the vineyards at first, on trial programs to control mildew, than on field crops and vegetable crops with the expertise of Arvalis, the French technical institute for plants.

The seed treatment market responds to the challenges of the sector, which is seeking alternative solutions to the massive withdrawal of synthetic pesticides. It corresponds to the first volumes from the rising production of ImmunRise Biocontrol.

Commercialization of the microalgae and opening to the European market
The marketing objectives will be defined by the delays required for the marketing authorization as well as by the increase in production.

“In order to meet the objectives of the EcoPhyto II+ plan, ImmunRise Biocontrol wants to market its product as early as 2026 to the seed treatment industry, whose needs correspond to the production capacity of our industrial prototype. Once the marketing authorization is obtained for seed treatment and vine foliar treatment, we will be able to sustainably protect millions of hectares each year on a European scale in the markets where conventional solutions are becoming rare. We also plan to propose our solutions to the markets of North and South America in the medium term,” explains Charlotte Glayrouse, deputy director of ImmunRise Biocontrol.

The increase in production is a major challenge for ImmunRise Biocontrol which has already established important partnerships in France and abroad in order to meet this industrial challenge.

“ImmunRise Biocontrol has been developing biocontrol solutions based on marine active ingredients from its own research, which have demonstrated their effectiveness on a unique spectrum of pathosystems. This innovative approach is entirely complementary to the activity of the DE SANGOSSE group in the transformation of pharmacopoeia that accompanies the agroecological transition, and it encourages us today to support their development and their arrival on the market,” explains Nicolas Fillon, director of De SANGOSSE.

“For three years, the scientific and technical teams of the BPhR group have been observing that the solution of ImmunRise Biocontrol provides effective responses to the problems faced by the wine industry,” explains Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, chairman, and CEO of BPhR.

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