NewLeaf Symbiotics, an agricultural biotech firm in St. Louis, Missouri, said Friday that it has acquired Intuitive Genomics. No financial terms were disclosed. Also, Dr. Todd Mockler has been named vice-president of genomics at NewLeaf while Dr. Doug Bryant will assume the role of vice-president of bioinformatics at NewLeaf. And, Dr. James C. Carrington has been added to NewLeaf’s science advisory board. Intuitive Genomics is a provider of custom bioinformatics solutions. NewLeaf is backed by Rockport Capital, Open Prairie Ventures and Pangaea Ventures.
ST. LOUIS, MO, December 6, 2013 – NewLeaf Symbiotics Inc. an agricultural biotech company, today announced the acquisition of Intuitive Genomics Inc., a leader in the design and implementation of custom bioinformatics solutions.
The acquisition of Intuitive Genomics’ elite computational and bioinformatics capabilities compliments NewLeaf’s R&D and product pipeline and positions the rapidly growing company as a top player in the burgeoning biologicals category.
NewLeaf Symbiotics is researching and commercializing naturally beneficial plant bacteria for crop health and protection. The use of natural biologicals to control plant disease and increase crop yield is one of the most promising opportunities to address the rapidly expanding global agricultural productivity gap.
“This is a major step forward for NewLeaf. A deep genomics and bioinformatics capability will be key to unlocking the full potential of our Prescriptive BiologicsTM platform, R&D breakthroughs and the positive field results we are demonstrating,” said NewLeaf CEO Tom Laurita. “The intellectual property potential created by this acquisition is substantial. And the ability to attract scientists of this caliber to our company is validation of NewLeaf’s strategic direction.”
Both companies are located at the BioResearch and Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Intuitive Genomics co-founders, James C. Carrington Ph.D., president of the Danforth Center will join the NewLeaf Science Advisory Board; Todd Mockler, Ph.D., associate member and Geraldine and Robert Virgil Distinguished Investigator at the Danforth Center will become vice-president of genomics at NewLeaf; and Doug Bryant, Ph.D., director, Bioinformatics Core at the Danforth Center will become vice-president of bioinformatics at NewLeaf.
“This is exactly the sort of collaboration the Danforth Plant Science Center seeks to foster. Here you have two locally incubated companies, each of which is a leader in its field, working in close proximity and recognizing the value in joining forces,” Carrington remarked.
“We have been pushing the envelope in bioinformatics for the past several years and have concluded that there is tremendous potential in biologicals. This is clear when you consider the recent acquisitions by ag industry giants in this area, and the recent high impact studies on both human and plant microbiomes,” Mockler said. “We surveyed the environment and NewLeaf Symbiotics is the most exciting opportunity we have seen for Intuitive Genomics,” Bryant added.
About NewLeaf Symbiotics:
NewLeaf is a venture-backed agricultural biotech company that is researching and commercializing naturally beneficial plant bacteria for crop health and protection. NewLeaf, which is based in St. Louis, Missouri, was founded by a group of entrepreneurs and former Monsanto scientists and executives. Investors in NewLeaf include Rockport Capital, Open Prairie Ventures, and Pangaea Ventures. www.newleafsym.com
About Intuitive Genomics:
Intuitive Genomics was founded in 2010. The company writes and implements proprietary algorithms that analyze and interpret genome-scale datasets, providing actionable bioinformatics solutions for customers.