Updated February 2024
Answers to the most frequently asked questions from the investment community.
1. What is the current status of approval in the European Union?
EU registration is a lengthy, multi-stage process that requires careful planning. It includes an in-depth review with EU central authorities, followed by end-use approvals with each country in which we plan to sell to growers. The first stage requires careful selection of a single EU member country that can steward the review and ultimately the approval of the active substance through the EU food safety authorities and the other countries. The second stage requires working with country clusters where we would intend selling the end-use product. The countries in the first and second stage can be different.
Right now, BVT is preparing to submit its proprietary biological plant protection product CR-7 for pan-EU regulatory approval. We are working with regulatory consultants in Europe to develop the submission strategy, including the selection of the best EU member country to work with for the first stage. This selection is based on the expertise of the reviewers in the country for the type of product we have, the backlog of files and workload of the review scientists in the country, and the predictability of their timelines in the review process.
We are also exploring other ways to accelerate entry into Europe, including targeting the EU grower community through in-licensing of third-party products and strategic go-to-market partnerships.
2. Why did you choose Switzerland for European expansion?
Switzerland is BVT’s strategic entry point into Europe. It was selected as our R&D base and beachhead because it isn’t part of the EU and has a less complex regulatory approval process. Their climate is similar to EU countries and we can easily showcase our technology for industry partners and stakeholders there with demos for growers from neighboring EU countries.
BVT’s Swiss registration is in advanced stages, our European headquarter and R&D center is operating smoothly, and more than 28 European grower trials have been successfully completed there.
3. What does a potential partnership for BVT look like? Is partnership an important part of your growth strategy?
BVT is exploring three types of strategic partnerships with third parties: go-to-market deals that open further geographical markets, in-licensing of third-party products that expand the range of crop disease and pests we can manage for growers and new end-use formulations for our proprietary Clonostachys rosea strain BVT CR-7 microbe. All three are key to unlocking additional revenue streams.
The go-to-market strategy is leveraging partners to help us commercialize in key markets. For example, our entry into Morocco is based on this approach: we are in discussions with well-established commercial partners in the region who have expressed interest in collaborating to bring our system to market there.
We are also in-licensing third-party biological fungicides and insecticides that can be used with our proprietary bee vectoring delivery system. This enables us to increase the addressable portion of the US$240 billion crop protection and fertilizer global market.
We estimate the worldwide market opportunity for in-licensed products to be US$5 billion, while BVT’s addressable portion for each product will be based on its spectrum of control and the geographic scope of the contractual terms with each third-party partner.
On the product front, we are also exploring and advancing non-bee vectoring opportunities for our proprietary biological fungicide CR-7, such as using it as a foliar spray and seed treatment.
4. Will the declining honeybee and bumblebee population affect the business?
BVT works with commercially-reared and managed bees. The commercial bumblebees are bred and grown specifically for pollination services. BVT has partnerships with the leading bumblebee rearing companies. The commercial honeybee hives are managed by professional beekeepers and pollination service providers. BVT does not use wild bees in its systems, so there are no concerns on the supply side.
In terms of helping declining populations, BVT’s system, with its proprietary biological fungicide to combat disease, actually helps farmers reduce their use of traditional chemicals, a key reason for the decline of wild species.
Read more on the impact of pesticides on wildlife:
Neonicotinoid pesticides are slowly killing bees (PBS.org)
Insect ‘apocalypse’ in U.S. driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides (National Geographic)
Monarch butterflies harmed by common neonic pesticides, study suggests (CBC)
5. Does BVT have any direct competitors?
BVT does not have any direct bee vectoring competitors that are commercially selling to growers. Although pesticide companies could be seen as competitors, they are also potential sources for partnerships, as these big corporations are looking for new technologies such as biologicals to sell to their large, established sales channels.
6. What does the BVT price model look like?
BVT invoices for a complete system. For the bumblebee system, pricing includes bees, hives and Vectorite with CR-7. The honeybee system includes dispensers and Vectorite with CR-7, growers source honeybees and hives from local commercial beekeepers and pollination service providers.
7. How will BVT grow the business to achieve revenue goals?
BVT is pursuing four objectives (listed in priority) to create business strength by building a strong foundation:
1. Opening and expanding in new crops and geographies.
2. High retention of customers.
3. Recruitment of new customers.
4. Increased BVT acreage on farms already using BVT.
We are pleased to report excellent progress in all four areas, consistently hitting our objectives, contributing significantly to the quality and diversity of the revenue mix, which is our goal.
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