DAVIS, CA--(Marketwire - April 07, 2010) - AgraQuest, Inc. announced that Dr. Nate Royalty has joined the company as Director of Entomology. Royalty leads the entomology team which is focused on developing new crop protection products to control damaging insects impacting agricultural crops. In 2010, the team will advance three novel active ingredients through early stage development and into field trials, including biopesticide leads expected to control mites, caterpillars and nematodes. Royalty's team will also focus on optimizing AgraQuest's current insecticides: REQUIEM®, for control of sucking pests in high-value fruit and vegetables, and BARITONE®, for economical lepidopteran control.
Royalty has worked in agricultural entomology for 26 years in postings all over the world, including the UK, Germany and U.S. Most recently, he was Insecticides Product Development Manager for Bayer Environmental Science, where he led U.S. and global efforts to support and extend active ingredients into the turf and ornamental segments.
"We continue to attract skilled and experienced senior scientists who possess a deep understanding of what it takes to meet growers' needs," said Dr. Jonathan Margolis, Senior VP of Research and Development at AgraQuest. "With our pipeline of exciting insecticide leads, Nate will be focused on bringing to market valuable new tools that control target pests and increase productivity, while creating a new bench-mark in product safety for the environment, farm workers and neighbors and food consumers."
Royalty is a member of the Entomological Society of America and serves on the Executive Committee of the International Conference of Urban Pests. He received his bachelor's degree in pest management from the University of California, Berkeley, and his master's degree in entomology from UC Riverside. Royalty received his doctorate in entomolgy from The Ohio State University. He and his family will relocate to the Davis area.
The addition of Royalty to the AgraQuest R&D team marks the continuation of a multi-year strategy to build a senior scientific leadership team with extensive industry experience and green ag expertise. Since 2008, AgraQuest has cemented its R&D leadership in the biopesticide space, expanding its core competencies in fermentation, natural product chemistry, plant pathology and entomology to also include teams with expertise in genomics, molecular biology, and plant physiology.
"We believe the challenges facing agriculture -- growing population, limited and ever-decreasing agricultural land, and consumer demands for clean, low-residue food -- can be met by biopesticides," said Marcus Meadows-Smith, CEO. "And, we believe the combination of AgraQuest's pipeline and our R&D team means we are uniquely positioned to deliver the best that biopesticide technology has to offer."
About AgraQuest, Inc.
AgraQuest is a biotechnology company that focuses on discovering, manufacturing and marketing highly effective pest management products for agricultural, institutional and home markets. The company holds a large portfolio of its own proprietary products, as well as actively in-licenses technology that fits into its low chem portfolio. As a leader in the emerging low chem sector, AgraQuest works to provide growers with solutions that offer best in class control while reducing the chemical load on the environment. The Agrochemical division of AgraQuest offers a global portfolio of products -- recognized as safer to beneficials, workers and the environment -- that includes SERENADE®, SERENADE® Garden, RHAPSODY®, SONATA®, AND BALLAD® fungicides and BARITONE® AND REQUIEM® insecticides. AgraQuest's BioInnovations division provides the company an avenue to take biological and low-chemical technology created for the agriculture industry and discover innovative uses for it in related markets. The BioInnovations division identifies both appropriate market segments and opportunities for AgraQuest's intellectual property, while seeking industry leaders in ancillary markets to partner in the commercialization and distribution process. AgraQuest has received several environmental awards including the Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the U.S. EPA for the discovery and commercialization of SERENADE. It also received the prestigious Global Frost & Sullivan Growth Leadership Award in 2009 for the biopesticides market. For more information visit www.agraquest.com.