Israeli startup TransAlgae, a firm that developed an algae-based platform for the oral delivery of drugs for human health and for crop protection, has raised an additional $2.5 million, led by Israeli citrus and fruit product manufacturer Gan Shmuel Foods, the company announced earlier this month.
Gan Shmuel Foods previously invested a total of $10.56 million in TransAlgae through a convertible loan that has already been converted into equity.
This additional investment decision by Gan Shmuel Foods “provides a strong vote of confidence” in both TransAlgae’s disruptive microalgae-based oral delivery technology and its management leadership, the Rehovot-based company said.
TransAlgae has previously secured about $35 million and is currently is in a fundraising round for $27 million, led by accounting organization KPMG.
Founded in 2008, Israeli biotech firm TransAlgae has developed a breakthrough technology, using genetically engineered algae as the vehicle to orally deliver therapeutic drugs such as vaccines and insecticides in their intact and functional form for Human Pharma, Animal Health and Crop Protection.
The company’s innovative technology is used in the development of bioinsecticides. The technology enables successful and effective delivery of lethal peptides/proteins (toxins) for broad-spectrum insect killing or effective delivery of dsRNA molecules based on RNAi technology for selective bioinsecticides.
TransAlgae’s oral delivery tech is also in use in the animal health sector, like vaccines and therapeutic products through oral delivery. The emergence of new delivery technologies such as TransAlgae’s oral delivery platform may greatly reduce the dependence on injectable delivery, the company said.
TransAlgae’s delivery platform for crop protection enables a successful use of the RNA class of pesticides, RNA interference (RNAi). RNAi promises advantages as a pesticide class: it is effective, efficient, and can be designed to target a specific pest, according to Eyal Ronen, vice president of business development at TransAlgae. The RNAi approach is poised to become one such important tool in the world of pesticides and provide farmers with attractive choices for their integrated pest management strategies.