One-third of all foods rely on pollination, and vaccination will give beehives a better chance of survival.
Dalan Animal Health, Inc., a biotech company pioneering insect health and immunology, today announced the close of a $3.55 million seed financing round led by At One Ventures and Veterinary Angel Network for Entrepreneurs (VANE). This is the second seed round of funding and the first including institutional investors, bringing the total raise to $5.5 million.
The company will use the new funding to bring to market the world's first insect vaccine for honeybees for vaccination against American Foulbrood, the most devastating bacterial disease threatening bee colonies worldwide.
"Most of the terrestrial biomass on Earth is flowering plants that need pollinators to survive," says Tom Chi, Managing Partner at At One Ventures. "Modern land use and agricultural practice has been decimating pollinators across the board and it's time for us to begin building the tools to protect them."
Honeybees are critically important to ensuring global food security and providing the ecosystem services that ensure plant diversity, soil stability, and species richness. As pollinators, honeybees support the successful growth and reproduction of plants which then go on to serve as food and shelter for all manner of species. Honeybees alone are responsible for pollinating 80% of all flowering plants and approximately 30,000/290,000 flowering plant species globally. Many of these species take the form of the fruits, nuts, and seeds we eat every day – so much so that worldwide crop production could decrease 90% without them. However, honeybees are plagued by diseases, with previously no safe and sustainable solution for disease prevention.
"As an animal-health-focused investment group, the Veterinary Angel Network is excited to support Dalan Animal Health's innovative, humane, and impactful approach to disease prevention," says Ira Gordon, Founder of VANE.
The vaccine that Dalan is developing is non-GMO, has no harmful additives, and is suitable for use in organic agriculture. The platform technology uses a transgenerational immune priming approach whereby the maternal animal passes the information on a disease to the next generation larvae before they hatch. The company plans to use this approach to develop vaccines for other honeybee diseases and invertebrates, such as shrimp, mealworms, and insects used in agriculture.
"We are excited to have the support and expertise of At One Ventures, VANE, and our other angel investors on this journey," says Dalan Animal Health CEO Annette Kleiser. "Dalan is not only a bee vaccine company but is pioneering sustainable solutions in insect health to save our planet. We are committed to providing innovative solutions to protect our pollinators and promote sustainable agriculture. Growing world populations and changing climates will increase the importance of honeybee pollination to secure our food supply."
Dalan will be completing the submission for a Conditional License from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Veterinary Biologics (USDA-CVB) and will distribute the vaccine on a limited basis to commercial beekeepers over the remainder of 2022. Dalan anticipates having the vaccine available for purchase in the US in 2023. The company plans to seek approval in Canada next.
For more information, please visit https://www.dalan.com/
For more information, please visit https://www.atoneventures.com/
For more information, please visit https://www.vane.vet/
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