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Biopesticides from the microbiome
Funding to Date*
* Data source: Crunchbase
Alicia Showering, co-founder and CEO of BugBiome
“We shared the same frustration around being in labs and doing things for the sake of science, not having an impact on pests or disease. That's why I founded BugBiome to bring products to market that will actually impact people's lives.”
There are 1.2 billion insects per person on Earth.

Every year, pests destroy 20% to 40% of global crop yields despite widespread use of synthetic pesticides. We spend $100 billion per year on chemicals that perform poorly, kill pollinators, and have been correlated with cancer, endocrine disruption, and brain damage in human beings. Farmers will need better solutions to feed 9.7 billion people in 2050, up from 8 billion today. 

BugBiome harnesses nature’s own defenses to protect crops from pests without any harm to people or pollinators. The team sources bioprotectants from the microbiomes of plants that have evolved to eliminate the target pest. BugBiome then uses a specialized consortia of microbes to camouflage the bioprotectant, luring in pests while minimizing their ability to develop resistance.  

BugBiome’s key advantage is AvidX, a high-throughput screening platform that observes multiple aspects of insect behavior to identify microbes with diverse modes of protecting crops. These include feeding deterrents, egg-laying inhibitors, and toxins, which can be combined to mimic the microbial communities that thwart pests in nature. BugBiome aims for AvidX to be significantly faster and more cost-effective than existing screening methods, which examine one behavior and microbe at a time in conditions unrepresentative of a real farm. 

BugBiome was co-founded by Dr. Alicia Showering, PhD in molecular microbiology for disease control, and Christopher Mosedale, an entrepreneur specializing in biotech commercialization. They aim to first produce an evidence-backed bioprotectant against aphids, a global threat to food security through the plant viruses they transmit. Ultimately, BugBiome’s technology might have an answer for every plant pest that harms humanity.