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Danish biotech startup BioPhero is acquired by the global agricultural sciences company

Founded in Copenhagen as a spin-out from the Technical University of Denmark, biotech startup BioPhero is acquired by FMC Corporation, an American chemical manufacturing company headquartered in Philadelphia. Founded in 2016, BioPhero’s technology platform allows for sustainable, low-cost production of insect pheromones. This acquisition, which contributes to sustainable agricultute, will boost the Danish company’s R&D operations and pave the way for their smooth entry in to the market as well as help them come up with new pheromones.

FMC Corporation significantly expands biologicals platform with agreement to acquire BioPhero

BioPhero brings new game-changing biologically produced pheromone technology to FMC’s award-winning pipeline and product portfolio. FMC expects revenue from pheromones and pheromone-based insect control products of approximately $1 billion with above company-average EBITDA margin by 2030. BioPhero’s patented fermentation process can manufacture sustainably advantaged pheromones at costs significantly lower than competitive processes.

FMC Corporation, an agricultural sciences company, announced a definitive agreement to acquire BioPhero ApS, a Denmark-based pheromone research and production company. The acquisition adds biologically produced state-of-the-art pheromone insect control technology to FMC’s product portfolio and R&D pipeline, underscoring FMC’s role as a leader in delivering innovative and sustainable crop protection solutions.

BioPhero has pioneered a highly efficient yeast fermentation process for manufacturing pheromones at significantly lower costs and with fewer production steps compared to competitors’ traditional chemical synthesis methods. Lower costs expand the pheromone addressable market from today’s focus on specialty fruit and vegetables to now include the large row crop market. FMC expects pheromones and pheromone-based products to contribute approximately $1 billion in revenue at above company-average EBITDA margin by 2030.

BioPhero, FMC Corporation, Mark Douglas“This acquisition demonstrates our continuing commitment to invest in biologicals and adjacent technologies, expanding our world-class portfolio while advancing sustainable agriculture,” said Mark Douglas, FMC president and chief executive officer. “BioPhero is a pioneer in the production of pheromones through a unique, highly efficient bioprocessing method—a game-changer in pheromone manufacturing technology.

FMC’s broad market access, leadership position in the high-value insecticide market, formulation know-how and application expertise provide significant opportunities to bring sustainably advantaged pheromone technology to more agricultural markets around the world. We look forward to adding an extensive pheromone platform to our biologicals business and welcoming the BioPhero team to FMC.”


“BioPhero is excited by the opportunity to accelerate our development and the road to market with the objective to make pheromones widely available,” said Dr. Irina Borodina, co-founder and chief scientific officer of BioPhero.

BioPhero, FMC Corporation, Irina Borodina“Given FMC’s leadership position in the development of biological plant health products, manufacturing and formulation expertise, and existing operations in Denmark, we believe FMC is an excellent company to take this business forward. FMC’s global market access and significant investments in R&D will accelerate our ability to bring highly advanced pheromone insect control technology to growers around the world.”

Pheromones can be used in an integrated pest management program to control the buildup of insect populations in farmers’ fields by disrupting the insect mating process, reducing overall egg-laying by adults and decreasing the next generation of the target insect population. Pheromones do not have an impact on the environment, promote biodiversity and do not harm beneficial insects, such as pollinators, since they precisely target specific pests.

BioPhero, FMC Corporation, Kathleen Shelton“FMC directs 100 percent of its R&D investments to discover and develop more sustainable products,” said Dr. Kathleen Shelton, FMC executive vice president and chief technology officer. “We’re excited to add BioPhero’s innovative pheromone molecules to our new product pipeline, and we expect to launch five new pheromone products over the next three to five years.

The opportunities for advanced biomanufacturing technology extend well beyond insect control. Working together, we can significantly expand the use of fermentation technologies across a wider set of crops targeting a variety of pests, including fungi and weeds.”

Novo Holding A/S, a world-leading science investor focused on creating long-term value, has supported BioPhero for six years.

“Novo Holdings believes that biotechnology is a key component in the transition towards a more sustainable society,” said Søren Møller, managing partner at Novo Holdings.

BioPhero, FMC Corporation, Novo Holdings, Søren Møller“The technology developed by BioPhero is an excellent example of using nature’s own pheromones to combat pests in a safe and yet efficient way. Novo Holdings has invested in BioPhero since inception and has renewed its commitment to the company in each financing round. We are very satisfied to see the rapid development of the company, and this sale demonstrates that FMC shares our vision of introducing new sustainable solutions in agriculture.”

The purchase price of approximately $200 million will be paid at closing. Following regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the acquisition of BioPhero is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter 2022.

BioPhero, FMC Corporation, Kristian Ebbensgaard“I proudly announce the signing of a definitive agreement to join FMC Corporation. BioPhero’s mission is to enable the shift to sustainable pest control in large-scale agriculture. We believe that the combined capabilities of our two companies will greatly accelerate the market uptake of safe and environmentally friendly pheromone solutions and, thus, their positive impact on growers, the environment, and consumers.” says Kristian Ebbensgaard, CEO of BioPhero ApS. 

“Joining FMC will create a solid foundation for our future, accelerating R&D operations and the development of new pheromones. The commitment of FMC and its world-class R&D and sales organizations will advance the market penetration of BioPhero’s pheromones. This transaction with FMC will increase BioPhero’s scale of operations, supporting our dream of BioPhero pheromones making a positive difference for farmers around the world. I look forward to this continuation of our journey.”

Click here to read more M&A news.

Nurcin Metingil
Nurcin Metingil
A permanent student, a passionate first reader and nowadays doing master’s degree in Publishing Management. Beside these, I am up for games! I have been playing games since I was 6. Now, I am whispering "Business. Business. Numbers. Is this working?"

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