Combined global crop losses due to weeds, pests and diseases is estimated to be 40%. These losses occur despite increased pesticide use over recent decades, highlighting the need to develop sustainable approaches for pathogen and pest control with less reliance on chemical inputs. 

The projections show that feeding a
world population of 9.1 billion people in
2050 would require raising overall food
production by some 70 percent between
2005/07 and 2050
— World Health Organization, How to Feed the World 2050, October 2009
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 Iron Leaf’s technology is the key in the fight against plant-based pathogens and pests.


Leveraging a combination of technology and biology developed by a consortium of global scientific research leaders, Iron Leaf's approach utilizes proprietary and patent-pending naturally occurring bacteria designed to protect the plant against disease and pests. This will give growers the ability to harvest crops naturally without the use of pesticides. 

A growing concern involves the fact that plant pathogens are a direct threat to the quality and abundance of food, feed, and fiber produced by growers around the world.

Plant protection in general and the protection of crops against plant diseases in particular, have an obvious role to play in meeting the growing demand for food quality and quantity. 

Iron Leaf's initial solution focus will be on pathogenic Fungi. 

One example would be Magnaporthe Oryzae, a filamentous ascomycete fungus, which is the causal agent of rice blast disease, the most destructive disease of rice worldwide. Its importance is underscored by the fact that approximately one-half of the world’s population relies on rice for its primary caloric intake.
 

Each year, rice blast disease is estimated to destroy enough rice to feed 60 million people. 

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Iron Leaf's innovation uses naturally occurring endophytic bacteria to express small interfering RNAs that inactive the expression of target genes. Our solution is novel and effective: 

1) Our technology is broad and encompasses the ability to not only release siRNAs to tackle disease, but also increase desirable traits within the  target plant;

2) eco-sensitive since it is pathogen specific and chemical free;

3) robust as the bacteria is self-replicating and does not degrade throughout the lifetime of the crop;

4) stable throughout the life-cycle of the plant;

5) can be utilized to disable replication of multiple viruses, fungi or mold at one time, and is easily adaptable to be quickly deployed to address emerging viral and fungal disease affecting specific regions;

6) can be used to protect against herbivores and pests;

7) encompasses gene-switch technology, allowing us to control the activation and timing of the siRNA expression in the crop;

8) efficient to manufacture and deploy in scale worldwide; and

9) simple and low cost to handle and disperse.

 
 

Our company has harnessed best-in-class leaders of both business and biotechnology science. 

Operating Team

+ MICHAEL HARRISON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

  • 35 years experience in investment banking with interests in the resource, energy and biotech sectors
  • Responsible for raising in excess of US$1 billion in funding for private and publicy traded companies
  • Served on the Board of Directors for numerous international publicly listed companies

+ DR. FADIA SAAD, PRESIDENT

  • 20 years experience in the biotechnology and pharma space, with expertise in bridging science and business
  • Previous executive positions in a number of biotechnology companies including Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, MedBiogene and Green Sky Labs

+ JON BLOODWORTH, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

  • Three decades of senior executive management and legal experience in disruptive technologies, with an emphasis on intellectual property protection and licensing, commercial negotiations, finance and venture development
  • Holds a law degree and is an active member of the State Bar of California

+ DR. RICHARD SAYRE, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER

  • One of the top Research Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the New Mexico Consortium
  • Extensive biotech experience in universities, national laboratories, and the private sector
  • One of the top 5 crop scientists who could change the world, according to Nature journal
  • Author of over 130 biotechnology papers and patents, with over 7000 citations
  • Received over US$100 million in grant funding for various projects

+ KIMBERLY HARRISON, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

  • 25 years experience as an entrepreneur across industries
  • Experienced in strategy, product development, VC funding, patents, distribution/licensing, and government relations
  • Served on numerous international product certifications and standardization committees

+ DR. GUOHUA (KAREN) YIN, SCIENTIST

  • PhD in Molecular Plant Pathology from the State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology in Shandong China
  • Skilled in molecular biology and biotechnology such as next-generation sequencing and re-sequencing
  • Author of 45 publications with another 11 under review or in preparation

+ DR. PEDRO MIGUEL MELO DA COSTA NUNES, SCIENTIST

  • PhD in Biology from the Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Expertise in plant Argonaute diversity and function
  • Author of 22 publications

+ SHANNON FLYNN, TECHNICIAN

  • 20 years experience in the Department of Energy's environmental science and restoration departments

Board of Directors

+ EDWARD CHEUNG, DIRECTOR

  • Over 20 years experience at global investment banks including JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse, advising on equities and derivatives to institutions, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds
  • Experience in setting up new businesses including a trading division at a US bank and board member of several startups

+ DAVID SMALLEY, CHIEF COUNSEL

  • 17 years practising corporate and securities law, providing legal services for financing private and public companies
  • Director of a number of Capital Pool Companies listed for trading on the TSX-Venture Exchange in Canada
  • Advises CEOs on their financing and business strategies; provides corporate, commercial and securities legal services

Iron Leaf is collaborating with world-class research institutions to ensure our science is successful. 

New Mexico Consortium (NMC) 
Iron Leaf operates within the award winning facilities of the NMC.  Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Richard Sayre, a Senior Research Scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory leads our team of dedicated research scientists and technician.

 

National Center for Genome Resources USA 
A research institute that applies bioinformatics, software engineering and next-generation sequencing to solve the preeminent challenges of 21st century biology through collaborative research and services.

Dr. Callum Bell, President, expertise in transforming advances in genome sequencing into clinical practice.

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North America

Michael Harrison

+1 778 928 6973

Asia / Pacific

Edward Cheung

+852 9151 8690