AgBiome moving into new RTP space

Agricultural technology research firm AgBiome has agreed to move into a new 30,000-square-foot facility that is being built by the Research Triangle Foundation, the not-for-profit that manages Research Triangle Park.

The new complex at 104 T.W. Alexander Drive, which includes a 5,000-square-foot greenhouse as well as office and laboratory space, is expected to be ready for occupancy in December.

AgBiome, which has 35 full-time employees and five part-timers, has outgrown the two RTP buildings it currently occupies and has been looking for suitable space in the park and elsewhere that could accommodate its needs and give it room for future growth, said Larry Daquioag, director of operations. The foundation’s proposal, he added, offered the best option.

The company’s new space can handle up to 70 workers, Daquioag said.

AgBiome, which has raised $17.5 million in venture capital, conducts research for agricultural biotechnology companies such as Syngenta and Genective. It focuses on identifying novel microbes in plants such as corn and soybeans that can lead to more productive crops.

The company was founded at the end of 2012 by a group of industry veterans led by Scott Uknes and Eric Ward, who previously founded and ran Cropsolution, a Triangle agbio company that discovered a novel fungicide that it licensed to major industry player in 2006. Uknes also was a co-founder of Paradigm Genetics; Ward is a former co-president of ag biotech at Novartis in RTP.

David Ranii: 919-829-4877, @dranii