For the second time this year, Syngenta has partnered with a research company that leverages new molecule discovery techniques used in pharmaceutical development to bring new AIs to market for agriculture, writes David Frabotta at AgriBusiness Global.
Crop health company Enko and Syngenta announced today a multi-year partnership to target specific pests and design new molecules to control them. The companies are still jointly identifying priority projects, and new herbicides to battle resistant weeds in corn and soybeans in the Americas could be likely first targets.
Here’s how it works:
Enko’s target-based approach combines novel drug discovery technologies like DNA-encoded libraries with machine learning and structural biology to dramatically improve the scale and speed of crop protection R&D. The approach allows scientists to screen more than 120 billion compounds simultaneously to identify molecules that bind like a lock and key to specific enzyme variants in pests. These highly selective molecules are more effective in lower quantities and do not impact similar enzyme variants in other organisms, which establishes safety guardrails from the first step of discovery.