Enko Chem

Investing in Sustainable Solutions

Nufarm has recently invested in Enko Chem, a US based start-up company discovering small molecule agro chemicals for crop protection.

Enko was established in 2017 to apply proven  pharmaceutical discovery and developmental methods to crop chemistry.

DNA encoded library (DEL) technology in the  pharma industry greatly expediated new molecule discovery, mostly replacing the  cumbersome high throughput screening (HTS) method, that is still used by the agrochem  industry today.

Enko intends to build a pipeline of crop  protection and yield enhancement products that meet the increasing safety and  sustainability demands of farmers, consumers and regulators globally.

In three years, they have recorded multiple  novel hits, resulting in 31 compound targets in  its pipeline, with three chemistries in field trials  and 16 novel modes of action. This rate of performance has outperformed the combined  efforts of the agrochem industry over the same period.

Enko set out to ‘re-find’ the major commercial  herbicides in the industry to prove their technology in crop protection. They did so and  simultaneously found many more molecules  that bind to the protein of interest, suggesting  several methods that achieve the same result.  They now have leads with resistance breaking functionality. They can select the most benign  (regulatory), the most potent (efficacy) and the simplest (CoGs) molecules as replacements to  current standards that are either failing to work well or are facing deregulation.

“This investment provides Nufarm access to a proven research and development platform. By investing with Enko, Nufarm is partnering with a business that is working on providing breakthrough agrochem discovery – a proposition that speaks to heart of  our ambition to grow our relevance by delivering more sustainable solutions for our customers.”
Greg Hunt
Nufarm CEO & Managing Director