Tropic Biosciences Secure £28.5m Funding to help Bananas Fight Panama Disease

5 June 2020

Tropic Biosciences are a biotech company that utilise gene editing and plant breeding to develop high-performing varieties of tropical crops. Their products promote cultivation efficiencies, consumer health, and sustainable environmental practices. The company's focus has been on bananas and coffee, which have a combined annual market value of over $50 billion and employ more than 500 million people around the world.

Farmers of these tropical crops face a large array of challenges including pests, disease and environmental changes caused by climate change. Tropic works closely with farmers of these crops to address these issues in their novel crop varieties. Since 2018, the company has been leaders in working on varieties of bananas that are resistant to Panama Disease which is a huge challenge for the industry. They also have created varieties of bananas with longer shelf lives and varieties of coffee with less caffeine and higher solubility, leading to less need for chemical processing.

Tropic Biosciences moved to Norwich Research Park in 2016 as a spin-in business being incubated by the John Innes Centre. In 2018, due to their growth, they moved to the Park's Innovation Centre where they still continue to work. 

The £28.5m funding they have won is Series B equity funding led by a global investment company called Temasek, based in Singapore. This is the largest funding won in the UK Agri-tech sector and the money will go to growing the company's field trials for their novel banana and coffee varieties, development of its very own technology platform, GEiGS™ and expanding into researching rice traits and varieties. 

This funding puts the total funding the company has received to £40 million. This is such great news for Tropic and we are very proud to have them as members of the Norwich Research Park community and wish them continued success in the future. 

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