Innovative Crop Protection
"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER"
At FortePhest, when we started to explore the ever-growing problem of resistant weeds, we decided to go back to basics. Back to Nature.
We looked deeply at how Nature protects plants from bad weeds. These observations paid off.
They led us to a breakthrough the likes of which had not been seen in the market for over 30 years… Nature indeed made us understand everything better.
To provide a game-changing solution to the growing global problem of resistance to herbicides.
BIG PROBLEM DEMANDS A REVOLUTIONARY SOLUTION
The world’s population is at an all time high and growth rates don’t show any signs of slowing down. Yet global food security faces one of its biggest threats ever:
the rapid spread of herbicide resistant weeds. During the 20th century, herbicides did a good job protecting crops. In the 1990s, it seemed weeds was a problem of
the past, that is, until Nature kicked back. Slowly but surely, more and more weeds developed resistance to herbicides.
Herbicide resistant weeds is a Worldwide Challenge
Source: Heap, I The international sur vey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds. April 2017
To be exact: 252 weed species became resistant to 163 different herbicides. This phenomenon has been documented in 92 crops in 69 countries and this is only the beginning.
Every year, those numbers are growing exponentially.
If resistance to herbicides persists, it is estimated that approximately
$50 – $60 billion of annual investments will be needed to sustain the current crop production levels in the U.S. and in the EU alone. The consequences are inconceivable.
This new reality is materializing as you read this. More and more weeds are developing herbicide resistance, leading humanity to face one of its biggest challenges ever.
This reality needs to be reshaped. FortePhest is here to make it happen.
THE SOLUTION: H-Forte™
The last time an herbicide with a new MOA appeared on the market was over 30 years ago. We’re proud to break this streak with a concept that may provide a long-term solution for the evolving
problem of weed resistance to current herbicides. We are proud to introduce HForteTM: a revolutionary development-stage herbicide leveraging a recently discovered Mechanism of Action (“MOA”).
Eventually, our hope is that this game-changing solution will contribute significantly to global food security in decades to come.
H-Forte™ – How does it work?
H-Forte™ is inspired by natural plant protectors which can delay or completely inhibit development of weeds. Its main features are:
1. New Site of Action: H-Forte™ targets a key enzyme of protein synthesis: Phenylalanine tRNA Synthetase (PheST)
2. New MOA: H-Forte™ is intended to control resistant weeds by disrupting the 3D structure of their proteins.
H-Forte™ – The Benefits
1. New MOA allows the user to control both sensitive weeds and weeds which are resistant to currently available herbicides.
2. Products inspired by Nature are intended to be potent yet environmentally friendly.
3. H-Forte™ may also work in synergy with other herbicides such as Glyphosate
THE BIG PICTURE BEHIND H-Forte™
In order to survive and proliferate, all plants need a few basic elements: light, water and nitrogen or phosphorus. The competition for those resources is one of the most important factors controlling plant communities. To win this evolutionary race, some plants produce one or more biochemicals that protect them from their rivals.
These chemical compounds may influence the germination, growth, survival or reproduction of competing plants. It was recently discovered that one of these naturally occurring plant protectors has a previously unknown Mechanism of Action. Its power to help plants win the never-ending competition for a place under the sun fascinated us.
At FortePhest when we explored this MOA further, we were blown away by the huge potential of a new MOA to fight resistant weeds. We were equally impressed by the fact that it is environmental and human friendly. Next thing we knew,
H-Forte™ was created.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND H-Forte™
Evidence that plants communicate in some form has been around for a few decades. Plants affect each other positively or negatively by releasing specia chemical compounds into the environment. Among other things, the signal transferred by these chemicals may promote growth of neighboring plants or suppress rivals.
One of these natural plant protectors appeared to be a non-coded amino acid meta-tyrosine (m-Tyr). It can delay or completely inhibit development of competing plants. But since it’s non-toxic for all other organisms that aren’t plants, m-Tyr is safe for the environment.
The most intriguing part is that m-Tyr kills weeds through a seemingly entirely new Mechanism of Action. There is strong evidence indicating that m-Tyr interacts with Phenylalanine tRNA synthetase (PheST) and may damage the structure of proteins in the plant’s cells.
Phenylalanine tRNA synthetase (PheST) is an enzyme that attaches the amino acid onto corresponding tRNA. In turn, tRNA delivers the linked amino acid to the ribosome.
A mistaken link of tRNA with the “wrong” amino acid may result in loss of function or damage of the protein.
This Mechanism of Action was “invented” and “tested” on generations of plants in the best lab in the world: Nature.
That’s hard to beat. At FortePhest we explore this MOA to develop truly game-changing products.
Our pipeline includes development-stage products:
1. H-Forte™ – Broad-spectrum herbicide with a new mode of action.
2. H-Forte™ for Glyphosate (Roundup) – Intended to reinforce Glyphosate abilities to control resistant weeds. 3. GM crops resistant to H-Forte™
Founded in 2017, FortePhest is a biotechnology company focusing on crop protection. The Company develops innovative products to control both regular weeds and weeds which are resistant to herbicides. We do this mainly by exploring novel Mechanisms of Action (MOA) discovered in plants. Inspired by natural plant protectors, our products are intended to provide potent, environmentally friendly, and sustainable solutions that may eventually improve crop productivity. Our technology is based on research of world-class teams of scientists from Cornell University, The Weizmann Institute of Science and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Dr. Alex Kozak, PhD
CEO // Co-Founder
• 20+ years of leadership roles in private and public biotech companies.
• Special expertise in drugs development, regulation and business development.
• Former President and CEO of
D-Pharm H Ltd.
Professor Mark Safro, ScD Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science
Senior Consultant // Co-Founder
• Internationally acclaimed expert in structural biology and mitochondrial disorders.
• Co-inventor of H-Forte™ technology.
Dr. Israel Shapiro, ScD
Head of Chemistry
• 20+ years of different leadership roles in the field of fine and medicinal chemistry.
• Special expertise in fine and medicinal chemistry.
*Head of Plant
Physiology / Agro
to be announced
Lea Marash, PhD
• Former Patent Attorney
at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries & Adama Agricultural Solutions Ltd.
Yossi Hatan, CPA
• Co-CEO of A2Z-Finance Ltd.
Romy Gakh-Baram, MA
Business Development and Brand Communication
• 16+ years of GTM expertise.
• Former V.P. of Strategy at
J. Walter Thompson.
NEWS AND EVENTS
Heap, I. (2014). Global perspective of herbicide‐resistant weeds. Pest Man Sci., 70(9), 1306–1315
Oerke, E. C., & Dehne, H. W. (2004). Losses in major crops and the role of crop protection. Crop Protection, 23(4), 275–285. WSSA. (2016).
Market reactions to weed resistance. Bayer on Global Herbicide Resistance