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Crop protection breakthrough claimed

Syngenta and Connecticut-based Enko have announced the discovery of novel chemistry to control fungal disease in crops, using a platform that reduces the time required for R&D discovery. This features a new mode of action designed to target diseases that currently cause the loss of 10-23% of the yield of cereal crops.

“This breakthrough was achieved by screening billions of chemical molecules within Enko’s DNA-encoded libraries, and then using artificial intelligence and machine learning models to identify potent, selective molecules” the firms stated. “This significantly shortens the time required for the discovery process, while ensuring molecules meet specified safety criteria.”

Enko and Syngenta have now entered into the next phase of their multi-year collaboration, in which they will seek to optimise the fungicide’s attributes and test them for safety and efficacy. They have also signed a new agreement to discover novel chemical starting points for a new herbicide to combat widespread resistance and eliminate aggressive weeds, such as Palmer Amaranth.

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