Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN) has announced that the patent behind its Sustaine encapsulation technology has been granted in Australia, the first patent specifically covering the use of Sustaine with third party active ingredients to be granted anywhere in the world.
The AIM-quoted sustainable biopesticides and plastic-free encapsulation technology company noted that the patent is for 'Encapsulation of High Potency Actives' allowing for the combination of Sustaine with a wide range of active ingredients from third parties.
Sustaine microcapsules are naturally-derived, biodegradable micro-spheres produced from yeast extract, and are one of the few viable alternatives to plastic-based microencapsulation technologies which are used widely in fertilisers, encapsulated plant protection products (PPPs), seed coatings, and biocides.
Eden pointed out that it has engaged in a number of projects around the world to test the compatibility of Sustaine with third party active ingredients in order to determine whether benefits such as formulation stability, improved efficacy, dose reduction or resistance management can be achieved.
In January 2020, Eden announced an exclusive agreement with Corteva Agriscience which allows the pure-play agriculture company to evaluate formulations based upon Sustaine in certain major territories. The patent allows Eden to exploit opportunities of this kind in the Australian market with a patent protected position.
Patent protection gives the technology competitive advantage, affording Eden and its partners a significant additional benefit and reason to use the Sustaine system as an alternative to plastic-based microencapsulation approaches. Patents are being pursued by Eden in a total of 27 key territories around the world, including the United States, Europe, China and Brazil.
In addition to being used to harness the benefit of nature-identical, terpene active ingredients in Eden's own commercial products such as Mevalone and Cedroz, the potential of Sustaine extends to the technology's effectiveness with other natural and synthetic compounds such as those widely used in Eden's key markets.
The company said this opens up a vast range of opportunities for it globally as pressure builds to cut out the use of plastic in the food supply chain.
Many of the synthetic compounds used in agricultural products currently use microplastic encapsulation in their formulations which could be replaced with Sustaine. Regulatory steps are underway to phase out the use of these "intentionally-added" microplastics, as demonstrated by the European Chemicals Agency's proposed EU-wide restriction on their use for agricultural and horticultural purposes, which is a part of a wider ban on the intentional use of plastics.
The granting of the patent behind Sustaine supports Eden's ability to leverage the technology whilst capitalising on the changing regulatory environment.
Working with its commercial partners globally, Eden said it will explore opportunities to utilise Sustaine with third parties as part of the company's wider vision is to become a leader in sustainable bioactive products.
In a statement, Sean Smith, Eden's chief executive officer commented: "The 'High Potency Actives' patent family, which will eventually cover many of the world's major economies, protects the use of our Sustaine technology with a wide range of active ingredients and is therefore valuable to Eden.
"Taking conventional agchem products and encapsulating them in our Sustaine system allows us to provide a new offering; creating more plastic-free alternatives for use in farming. With various projects underway using third-party ingredients, we now have a unique position to apply our Sustaine system in Australia with patent protection and contribute to sustainable agriculture and the reduction of the microplastics problem more widely."