Leone BioVentures (pronounced Lee Own) was originated in the summer of 2013 to develop a novel bio-fungicide for use on a variety of fruits and vegetables. The company is building on the work of Joseph O. Falkingham, Ph.D from the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Falkingham’s work over the past 15 years has led to the discovery and testing of unique compounds found in Burkholderia sp. called Burkholdines. Unfortunately, the discovery has never been commercialized because of issues with the growth and production of the microorganism on an industrial scale.
Although small amounts of material have been available for greenhouse trials in a variety of plant species, there has never been enough material available to pursue testing required for commercialization.
Leone BioVentures plans to complete several pivotal greenhouse and field trials in 2014 leading to further testing and registration with the US EPA as a biochemical pesticide. In 2015, we are continuing to optimize the yield of bio active compounds to reduce product cost. We also have spoken with the US EPA in order to begin the path to bio-pesticide registration for our product.
Biochemical pesticides have a number of advantages over conventional pesticides as the path to commercialization is less rigorous. They provide substantial environmental and safety benefits.