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PHC Plant Health Care Plc

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Last Updated: 08:00:11
Delayed by 15 minutes
Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Plant Health Care Plc LSE:PHC London Ordinary Share GB00B01JC540 ORD 1P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  0.00 0.00% 3.78 3.70 4.16 - 50,739 08:00:11
Industry Sector Turnover Profit EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap
Pesticides, Agric Chems, Nec 11.77M -9.48M -0.0278 -1.36 12.91M
Plant Health Care Plc is listed in the Pesticides, Agric Chems sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker PHC. The last closing price for Plant Health Care was 3.78p. Over the last year, Plant Health Care shares have traded in a share price range of 3.20p to 11.60p.

Plant Health Care currently has 341,532,952 shares in issue. The market capitalisation of Plant Health Care is £12.91 million. Plant Health Care has a price to earnings ratio (PE ratio) of -1.36.

Plant Health Care Share Discussion Threads

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Following on from my post number 3, where I highlighted a recent and significant scientific discovery as potentially underscoring, if not intensifying, the interest in PHC's new technology, PREtec (peptides that can provide various agronomic benefits for use in agriculture)

The same scientific institution continues to add scientific evidence that PHC are on to something very significant. In my opinion, the following adds further credibility to PHC's technology offerings -

Plant Peptide Spells Relief from Salty Stress
Published: May 14, 2018.
Released by RIKEN

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) have discovered a hormone-like peptide in plants that helps increase their tolerance to excessive salt. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, the study found several genes that can increase salinity tolerance, the most effective being a small gene that codes for the peptide AT13.

First author Kentaro Nakaminami notes, "We found the first functional evidence for improved salinity stress tolerance in plants in response to treatment with a small peptide. This is a first step towards the production of new agricultural supplements for plants growing in high salinity conditions."

This method has key benefits. "Peptides are natural compounds that are safer than genetically modified plants," says Nakaminami. "Additionally, potential supplements made from synthetic peptide fragments will be easy to apply to different species of plants."

Small coding genes in plants are numerous but have not yet been well documented or researched. Hanada is hopeful that many more peptide hormones in plants will soon be discovered. "We think that plants have many peptide hormones associated with physiological roles," he says. "We strongly believe that analysis of small coding genes or peptide hormones may provide new targets for understanding plant biology and improving crop yields in environmentally stressful conditions."

Full release -

The last two paragraphs are important. Put another way, a key advantage of the peptide approach is that these compounds occur naturally and are bioactive when applied externally. In other words, there are no residues, and importantly no genetic changes need to be introduced into crop species through lengthy breeding programs to achieve desired effects when using peptides.

Edit...Correct link to the above now provided
Recall that PHC's sales in Spain and Italy are growing rapidly. The important demand aspect aside, the following article offers far more insight to the market for biologicals, which is already seeing huge global growth and is set for further exponential growth -

The Crop Protection Product and Plant Health Markets of Italy and Spain
May 14, 2018
Daniel Jacobs

Spanish growers continue to learn about and incorporate biological products into their crop protection programs. At Fontestad S.A. in Valencia, owner Vicente Fontestad grows a variety of citrus over 900 hectares using both traditional and biological crop protection products.

For crop protection and biological product manufacturers, one of the challenges is offering a portfolio that accommodates the 60 main crops grown throughout the country on more than 900,000 agricultural holdings.

While traditional crop protection products comprise the bulk of crop inputs, like much of the rest of the world, Spain and Europe have seen a boom in interest in biological products.

Companies in Spain have heard and heeded the call of consumers and governments about the need for fruits and vegetables with fewer residues grown in more sustainable ways.

Spain has the highest consumption of agchem in the European Union, says David de Boet Perez-Portabella, Associate Director M&A for Dextra International.

“Our biggest challenge is keeping agriculture sustainable,” Obando says. “That’s where technology comes into play.”

The crop protection and biological products markets of Spain and Italy are critical to ensuring the rest of Europe has access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and the technology developed in those countries makes its way around the world.

“Spain is the biggest purveyor of fresh fruits in Europe. That is our opportunity, also our challenge,” says Adonay Obando, Director for Bayer CropScience S.L. “It’s where northern Europe gets it fresh produce, mostly. That’s where the challenges start. Northern Europe is by far the heaviest populated area in Europe and has some of the most heavily populated areas in the world.”

Biological Products
The market has exploded, says Carlos Ledó Orriach, CEO and Director General of IDAI Nature. That growth includes both the adoption of products by farmers and the number of companies looking to provide solutions.

The approach to selling biological products — both control and biostimulant products — has changed. Many manufacturers and distributors are no longer looking to replace traditional agchem.

One knock against biological products has always been the cost or at least the perception of cost. Many growers think the investment is too great for the promised return. To combat the perception, manufacturers are now selling biologicals as part of a complete management plan.

“Since we make it part of an integrated solution, we present a package, not a product,” Obando says.

Bayer has seen huge growth in its biological product business.

“Our biologicals business has grown more than 500% in 41/2 years, mostly biocontrols, mostly fungicides,” Obando says. “Our goal is to make biological products 10% of sales. Right now the goal is $20 million Euros.”

As the understanding and efficacy of biological products continues to improve, and as regulations continue to become more odious, the role of biological solutions will increase. “In 10 years agriculture will be 100% free of chemical residues,” says Germán Guillem Sánchez, Director Comercial for IDAI Nature.

For a very worthwhile read, the full story, AgriBusiness Global-

Bayer CropScience CEO Discusses Post Monsanto Merger Innovation Strategy


On the biologicals front, Bayer has been investing in that technology quite a bit, acquiring biological startup AgraQuest as far back as 2012. Why invest there?

Consumer demand for residue-free food is increasing pretty rapidly and also regulatory pressure on chemicals is constantly increasing. There is a greater willingness on the part of consumers to embrace biologicals because there is a sense somehow that they’re more natural. And from a regulatory point of view, it’s a much easier path of development than a chemical.

Reality is that usually [biologicals] only work effectively today combined with chemicals. But they can be used in a complementary manner and that is where we see the biggest opportunity. I think consumer demand will push us in the direction of a more biological approach, but biologicals will never substitute for chemicals because the efficacy isn’t the same, so we’ll need to have the right combinations. But as somebody that claims to want to be a market leader in crop protection, we need to have the broadest portfolio possible and it will need to not only include chemicals but also biological approaches.

Full Q&A -

The above does not only apply to Bayer of course, as consumer awareness and demand for residue-free food accelerates, not to mention disease resistance, means there is a big push into biologicals. As indicated by the tests and trials for PHC's lead peptides, there is high interest -

All five of the top global agricultural/seed companies and a number of other companies are testing lead peptides from our PREtec platforms Innatus™ 3G, T-Rex 3G and Y-Max 3G.

Four global agricultural/seed majors are running field trials in Brazil of Innatus 3G added to chemical sprays for the control of Asian Soybean Rust (ASR), a devastating fungal disease of soybeans. Farmers spent US$1.7 billion on soybean fungicides in 2016 in Brazil; there are increasing concerns about disease resistance and the resulting impact on yield.

I note that Lombard reduced into the demand by just over 2%, but someone obviously wanted that stock.

I agree that there appears to be underlying demand, with the charts now breaking out on good volume.

Venture Capitalists are also investing/on the look out -

Meet the agtech VC who sees a first-mover advantage in Europe
Eric Burg
May 03, 2018

For one, agriculture-dependent and developing countries will need to find more efficient, sustainable production methods and adapt to climate change if they are to come anywhere near meeting food demand. And all of this comes at a time of several seismic global changes for the food industry, including shifting diet patterns and continued environmental problems stemming from the intensive animal farming industry, deforestation, and the challenges of packaging and shipping food products around the world.

A number of foodtech and agtech companies are trying to address some of these issues. And VC firms are taking note, seeing the business opportunity arising from a mega-trend in the making.

"Besides a global misalignment between food demand and supply, there is an added element," Manzoni told PitchBook. "It's not only that we need more food; we need better food, so we are investing in companies that take nutritional needs into account as well as the environmental impact of creating them."

The problem is multifaceted. With that in mind, Five Seasons seeks investments in companies that develop or use technology to address shifting diets and increasing crop yields, and that are finding ways to make global supply chains more efficient and less wasteful.

Due to the sheer magnitude of some of the problems that need addressing and solving, it is no stretch to see the foodtech and agtech ecosystem evolve on a global scale. What this means for European VCs investing in this space, in particular, is that there appears to be a clear first-mover advantage.

Full Story -

I also like the fact that PHC have only scratched the surface in terms of peptides and additional platforms, which should help garner deeper interest (beyond just licensing for South America).

PHC has already filed a patent application for a further peptide platform, beyond the three already under evaluation by partners, and they expect to discover more platforms over time.

One of the fastest-growing segments in agricultural inputs is biological products, with the potential to grow 20% per year over the next five years, hence the industry is attracting the attention of larger players.

Hence as I mentioned further above, the appetite for technology, products and acquisitions in the ag bologics sector is increasing, and thus the valuations for such companies have begun to respond accordingly.

Driving this growth are consumers demanding food with fewer chemical residues and producers striving to preserve the effectiveness of their pest control tools. Biological products are already providing growers with crop protection solutions to help with residue and resistance management, but the sector is set to realise significant growth as demand and regulation ramps up over the next few years.

The soybean harvest in Brazil has finished, so hopefully the impending trial data will be at least as encouraging as those previously achieved. If this is indeed achieved then we should advance to a successful licencing process for the exclusive rights for use in South American soybeans, which would represent a catalyst event, and will hopefully represent one of a number of catalysts to follow.

Wow fantastic volume !!!!Here we go
Interesting institution swapsies at 22p - About 1.5% changed hands - Will we see an rns ?
Plant healthcare on the move . Serious opportunity for investors here A very credible management team with a milestone catalyst coming upOne of my biggest holdings and truest back the team
April 27, 2018 by Lili Chatzikonstantinou

Speakers from the US Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA), the Standardization Administration of the P.R. China (SAC), and industry, all agreed today that Europe has been a pioneer in developing biostimulants. Furthermore, there was consensus that the EBIC definition was the reference for defining biostimulants with its focus on improving nutrient use, tolerance to abiotic stress and quality as well as general benefits for crop vigor and yield. Combined with the recent inclusion of an almost identical definition in the US Farm Bill, the convergence towards EBIC’s definition shows the influence EBIC has had in setting the international agenda for structuring the sector.

Full story -

(double post)
To further highlight the interest in biologicals (as indicted in my header post), the following shows the appetite for technology, products and acquisitions in the ag bologics sector -

Inocucor Makes ‘First of Many’ Acquisitions, Closes Series B on $54.4m
APRIL 19, 2018

Agriculture biologicals startup Inocucor has acquired ATP Nutritionin the opening salvo of a plan to become a “selective consolidator” in the premium crop inputs space.

“At the end of the day what brought Inocucor and ATP together was that they wanted to grow their product offering in biologicals and we wanted to develop our own marketing channel for second-generation biologicals,” said Marvin.

Marvin calls his product “second generation biologicals” because Inocucor’s don’t contain actual microbes, but the metabolites that send metabolic signals to stimulate plant growth.

“Inocucor’s acquisition platform strategy is incredibly unique and provides immediate value through the first successful acquisition of ATP. Inocucor will continue to make strategic acquisitions in adjacent areas of the plant-health industry that help the company deliver a portfolio of differentiated products that act in collaboration with existing and future biological-based products,” he said.

Both Belldegrun and Marvin agree that the biologicals space is crowded and needs consolidation.

“Agricultural input providers are fragmented and provide individual solutions. Growers need to maximize ROI for integrated farming programs by utilizing a portfolio of differentiated products that act in collaboration between biologicals and nutrients. That is exactly what Inocucor is building through its acquisition strategy,” said Belldegrun.

Full story, Agfunder -

The following recent discovery and findings are significant, which I believe will further underscore, if not intensify, the interest in PHC's new technology, PREtec (peptides that can provide various agronomic benefits for use in agriculture) -

April 5, 2018

Newly discovered hormone helps keep plants from dehydrating
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan have discovered a small hormone that helps plants retain water when none is available in the soil. Published in the journal Nature on April 4, the study shows how the peptide CLE25 moves from the roots to the leaves when water is scarce and helps prevent water loss by closing pores in the leaf surface.

In animals, peptide hormones are small chains of amino acids that move through the blood and help keep our bodies in balance when the environment changes. For example, when your blood pressure is low, your body produces the hormone vasopressin, which circulates in the blood and acts to narrow your arteries, which increases your blood pressure back to normal levels.

Plants also have hormones—called phytohormones—but, scientists know much less about them. The plant scientists at RIKEN CSRS wanted to find out whether any plant hormones respond to physical—abiotic—stress. As first author Fuminori Takahashi explains, “Although we know that some peptide hormones in plants mediate cellular development, until now nobody had identified any that regulate responses to physical stresses such as dehydration.”

The team began by looking at CLE peptides that are synthesized in the roots and at ABA— a hormone that is known to accumulate in leaves and help close pores in response to drought stress. Applying many CLE peptides to plant roots showed that only CLE25 led to increased ABA in the leaves and pore closure. The team determined that the link between these two events was the increase in an enzyme necessary for making ABA. In addition to this artificial situation, they showed that CLE25 levels increase in the roots of plants that are subjected to dehydration stress, leading to the same results. The next question was whether CLE25 moves through the plant circulatory system.

Detecting functional peptide hormones is very difficult in living cells because the amounts are so small. “We resolved this problem,” says Takahashi, “by using a high sensitive mass spectrometry system, and developing a screening system that can identify the mobile peptides moving from root to shoot.” With this technology, the researchers were able to tag CLE25 molecules and visualize their movement from the roots to the leaves, indicating that it was indeed a mobile hormone and that it likely interacted with other molecules in leaf to produce ABA.

Before investigating how CLE25 induces ABA synthesis once it arrives at the leaf, the team created mutant plants that lacked CLE25 or ABA and performed several control experiments that confirmed that their findings. In particular, after only three hours of dehydration, plants without CLE25 already showed 7 times less leaf ABA and had lost more water than control plants. Finally, the team examined several mutants and discovered that BAM1/BAM3 receptors in leaf were the link between CLE25 and ABA production.

Now that they have discovered the CLE25 peptide hormone and determined how it helps plants retain water, the team is confident that this is just the beginning. As Takahashi notes, “Our research absolutely has applications in the real world and should contribute to the development of abiotic stress-resistant crops that take advantage of the mobile peptide system in plants.”

The group at RIKEN CSRS already has its own plans in this direction. “First,” explains Takahashi, “we are working on modified peptides that are more effective for stress resistance than the natural ones. Second, we are working on ways to mix functional peptides into fertilizer to enhance drought resistance of crops in the field.”

I note PHC are also targeting abiotic stress/drought.

The last two paragraphs are instructive; as the findings overall provides further evidence that the use of targeted peptides look set to play an important part in agriculture. And it should be noted that PHC have already developed modified peptides which are currently being used in crop trials.

I also note that a recent PHC Investor Presentation is available -

Soybean Rust presents a large near term opportunity for PHC (amongst others). So, a particular point that stood out for me in the Presentation, was the chart on page 21, which shows the improvement in disease severity/resistance in soybeans when PHC's Lead Peptide for Soybeans in Brazil: PHC279 was combined with a number of large players traditional offerings.

Thanks for the link paulfred1.He does sound upbeat but again seems to kick the can down the road regarding the first license,now saying by the end of 2018 .Also if he is saying that breakeven is possible for 2019 but only if further licenses are auctioned then that doesn't indicate to me the value for each of them will be that high taking in to consideration that 2019 should also have royalty payments for the first license plus 20% increase in revenue on their commercial products.Any further delays and its going to be more cash burn i feel in 2019 as well
Thank you wan - very helpful!
It is worth anyone new to PHC also listening to the recent interview, a link for which is in the header.
I have created a new PHC thread -
Plant Health Care; Using novel biological products to address global agricultural markets

Plant Health Care is one of the leading providers of natural, plant yield enhancing products to the agricultural industry.

The Company has focused on selling or licensing its technologies in global agricultural markets in order to achieve the greatest return for its shareholders.

One of the rapidly growing trends in agriculture is biologicals. Vast sums are being made available for research and product development, and also via strategic partnerships and M&A in order to bring effective biological products to market.

To exemplify the interest, importance and potential size of this emerging market, one only has to look at Bayer's efforts and deal making regarding Biologics. In one example Bayer have partnered with Ginkgo Bioworks in a $100m funded venture. Another ag giant, Monsanto, has also been ramping up its biologicals portfolio, and not to mention the fact that Bayer is in the final stages of acquiring Monsanto!

Plant Health Care has already entered this market, with sales of their Harpin range of products recording impressive growth, importantly their Harpin Alpha Beta product appears to offer further growth potential going forwards, via additional crop targets and new distribution agreements.

Whilst the benefits of certain biolgicals to agriculture is widely recognised, bringing such products to market is not straight forward. Putting regulatory issues to one side (which in any regard should be more straight forward and quicker than bringing synthetic chemistry through the regulatory process). The very nature of biologics e.g. living organisms and bioactive compounds, means they are not as hardy and shelf stable as their synthetic alternatives, as they tend to degrade rapidly in heat and sunlight and have limited storage lives.

PHC's new technology offering, PREtec overcomes the instability associated with most biologics and are applicable to a wide range of crops. The first target market for PREtec is in soybeans to protect against soybean rust resistance and increase yields.

Soybeans represent a very large global market, and Asian Soybean Rust (ASR) is a major issue, particularly in Brazil where ASR is developing resistance even to the most advanced chemical fungicides in the market. PHC and their evaluation partners are trialing Pretec in Brazil soybeans and data from these ASR trials are due in Q2 2018.

Four global agricultural/seed majors are running field trials in Brazil of Innatus 3G added to chemical sprays for the control of Asian Soybean Rust (ASR), a devastating fungal disease of soybeans. Farmers spent US$1.7 billion on soybean fungicides in 2016 in Brazil; there are increasing concerns about disease resistance and the resulting impact on yield.

In the Company's trials, their lead peptides have shown promise for the control of ASR, especially for the control of resistant disease when used in mixture with conventional agrochemicals.

Exclusive rights to Innatus 3G for use in South American soybeans are expected to be licenced through a competitive licencing process in the second half of 2018.

Soybean rust resistance has evolved faster than the chemical companies have been able to adjust, to the extent that their chemicals have become less effective. If Plant Health Care's PREtec offering is proven to control of Asian Soybean Rust, then on its on its own this could be a company transforming product!

The use of PREtec in other markets and crops is also being evaluated;
PHC expanded its programme of trials in other crops. Results continued to show good performance for Innatus 3G under disease and drought stress, and for T-Rex 3G against nematodes. Y-Max 3G peptides increased yields even under optimal growing conditions.

Discussions continue with partners about future licencing of Innatus 3G in other crops and regions and of both T-Rex 3G and Y-Max 3G.

All five of the top global agricultural/seed companies and a number of other companies are testing lead peptides from PHC's PREtec platforms Innatus(TM) 3G, T-Rex 3G and Y-Max 3G.

2018 could well prove to be a decisive period for PHC, with 2019 providing further potential for material value and growth events to be realised.

The following interview on April 16th 2018 is worth listening to -

Plant Health Care website -

Please conduct your own research when making investment decisions, as the originator, or the threads contributors, could be either wrong or inaccurate.

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