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The Next Wave of Biologicals, the Re-Emergence of RNAi in Agriculture


This week on North American Ag Spotlight Chrissy Wozniak learns about RNAi technology in agriculture from Todd Hauser, the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Trillium Ag. With more than 20 years of experience in biotechnology and gene silencing, Todd is a leader in the movement to modernize crop protection. With an expert understanding of crop science and a passion to protect the long-term global food supply and the environment, Todd brings a unique combination of scientific experience and technological knowledge to Trillium Ag.


Trillium Ag (www.trillium.ag) was founded in 2016 by Todd Hauser and Paul Olivier, two Seattle-area scientists and entrepreneurs with a more then 50 years of combined experience in bio-technology and RNA Interference (RNAi). Their goal was to unlock the potential for a safer and more sustainable approach to farming by creating a revolutionary new class of biologicals that target pests and provide superior crop protection. Leveraging their scientific expertise and new developments in RNAi technology, Trillium’s co-founders recognized an opportunity to develop a crop protection platform that is greener, more effective and provides the answer to agriculture’s escalating pest problem.


Traditional approaches to crop protection, such as synthetic chemicals and bacterial toxins, are in rapid decline. Due to increasing pest resistance, as well as regulatory and consumer pressures, there is an urgent need for new crop protection strategies in order to avoid continued worldwide crop losses of $220 billion annually. The Trillium Ag team understood that the agricultural industry was facing a growing problem and it was critical to uncover a solution in order to secure the world’s long-term food supply. Tapping cutting-edge science and modern technology, Trillium Ag has developed Agrisome, the future of crop protection.


Trillum Ag’s patented Agrisome technology is a revolutionary crop protection platform that employs first-of-its-kind biologicals to target agriculture’s most problematic pests, including, but not limited to, the lepidoptera and hemiptera insect classes. Alone, these two orders of insects are responsible for $50 billion in crop losses across the globe annually. Leveraging innovative RNAi science, Trillium Ag’s breakthrough platform delivers a scalable, adaptable and stacked line of crop defense, providing a sustainable and biodegradable solution in the fight against crop-targeting pests.


Agrisome utilizes naturally-derived protein coated RNA molecules creating a new class of biologicals that address and solve challenges that have hindered prior RNAi-derived crop protection attempts. Agrisome targets and activates a pests own naturally occurring processes through gene silencing, unlocking a safer and more sustainable approach to farming. Offering a topical and seed trait based product platform, Agrisome serves as a replacement for synthetic chemical pesticides and is poised to transform the agricultural industry.


Since the discovery of RNAi was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006, significant advancements in RNAi-derived pharmaceuticals have been realized, but thus far, RNAi has been unable to make a meaningful impact in agriculture. RNAi technology as it pertains to crop protection has been fraught with failure due to bioavailability and commercialization challenges. Agrisome innovatively combines protein and RNA into self-forming and self-directed entities, providing a solution to these prior problems and an answer to previously unmet crop protection needs.


Agrisome has proven efficacy in both in vitro and in vivo models and Trillium Ag is currently collaborating with the industry’s top commercial and academic leaders to further confirm commercial feasibility and broad scale agricultural application. In addition, Trillium Ag’s pipeline, which is based on naturally-derived protein coated RNA molecules, includes added sustainable bio-agriculture products currently in the research and development stage. Further, industry leader and former Corteva CTO, Neal Gutterson joined Trillium Ag’s Board of Directors in early 2023.


As CEO of Trillium Ag, Todd oversees and leads on all areas of the business including strategy, product innovation, technology and corporate partnerships. Todd is responsible for the businesses day-to-day operations including overseeing Trillium Ag’s Seattle-based research lab and implementing the company’s short- and long-term strategic plans.


Learn more about Trillium Ag at https://trillium.ag or on LinkedIn @Trillium-Ag



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