2023 Life Sciences Awards: Oerth Bio

The winners of Triangle Business Journal's 2023 Life Sciences Awards are announced.

2023 Life Sciences Awards: Oerth Bio

Bio: Category: Best Ag. Bio

Age of the firm: three and a half year

Description: Research firm in early stages of development, designing Protac molecules. It was launched as a joint-venture between Leaps Bayer and Arvinas. The technology is designed to combine the effectiveness of synthetic chemistry and the safety profile of biologics for plant protection and resilience.

What was the main driver of your company's growth in the past year? Demand for crop nutrition and crop-protection solutions has increased due to the consumer demand for sustainable farming practices. Oerth and Yara International are collaborating to develop novel products that will improve nutrient efficiency and increase plant resilience to climate changes.

The firm has been most proud of ...: its team since its founding. They are amazing scientists. Many have left rewarding careers in human therapeutics for the challenge of creating a sustainable food system.

We've also built Attune, the first engine in the world for ag Protac molecule. The platform uses a rational design process based on targets to create and tune molecules for specific crop results. It is expected that this will be a game changer for agriculture and farmers.

What do you look forward to most in 2023-24? We are excited about the recently announced research partnership with North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative. We will use their greenhouse, laboratory, and field resources in order to test Protac molecule on a variety of plant and pest species.

How can the Triangle foster a more vibrant community of life sciences? Oerth Bio was deliberately located in Downtown Durham, so that it could be a part of the existing community and not separate from it. Recently, we expanded into the recently renovated BioLabs building on West Peabody Street. It is important to us that the Triangle's life sciences industry integrates into existing communities.