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SyntheZyme Wins Second National Science Foundation Grant to Commercialize Promising Biopesticide
Date:5/17/2011

NEW YORK, May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- SyntheZyme, a sustainable chemical company founded by Richard Gross, the Herman F. Mark chair and professor of chemical and biological sciences at Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), has received a $475,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation.  These competitive awards provide federal support for small, highly innovative technology businesses.

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This is the second SBIR grant for SyntheZyme. The Phase I grant, awarded in January 2010, provided funding to demonstrate the efficacy of one of SyntheZyme's core innovations — a biopesticide developed from a modified yeast strain that can protect grain and produce crops without the use of harmful chemical agents.

Due to tightened regulations and heightened concerns about the health hazards of synthetic chemical pesticides, Gross says that a safe alternative is increasingly critical. "This continued support from the National Science Foundation will help us take the final steps toward our goal — offering a safe and superior biopesticide that poses no threat to the farmers who handle the materials or to the consumers who buy their produce," Gross said.

In testing, the SyntheZyme product proved highly effective against the three major plant pathogen fungal groups that attack commercially important crops including potatoes, tomatoes, wheat, corn and rice.

The Phase II grant will allow SyntheZyme to complete additional research necessary to commercialize the biopesticide. Plans include optimizing the processes for yeast fermentation and product production, conducting field trials and performing additional toxicity and biodegradation testing. <
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SOURCE Polytechnic Institute of New York University
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