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Solasta Bio is dedicated to discovery of new, more selective, “greener” insect control agents that are valuable for modern pest management approaches.

Solasta’s approach is based on development of short peptides that disrupt function in pest species, while leaving beneficial insects and vertebrates untouched.

These compounds thus have high selectivity, low environmental impact, and low- or no residues.

Team

Together, the team brings over a hundred years of expertise in insect biology , neuroendocrinology and the agrochemical industry.

Photo of Dr Rob Wylie
Dr Rob Wylie

Chair

Dr Rob Wylie, PhD

 is an entrepreneur and investor, presently focused on setting up and running investment firms and businesses in agri- and food tech innovation. He was the founder of EnviroPro, and WEHB Partnership. He is Chair of several impact investment companies including Five Seasons; co-founder of Cambridge Agritech, Chair of WEHB and Alpina Partners; and on the Advisory Board of Chi Impact Capital. Rob is also Chair of Weedingtech, The Oak network and Aquaspy Investor Director.

 

Professor Shireen Davies

CEO

Professor Shireen Davies, PhD FRSE

 is a recent UKRI BBSRC Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellow (2019-21) with demonstrated leadership in research-led innovation, achieved via cross-sector settings and funded industry collaborations. She was winner of Scotland Knowledge Exchange Multiparty award 2020 and joint winner of Glasgow Entrepreneur of the year 2020.  She has world leading expertise in insect neuroendocrinology, cell signaling and environmental stress tolerance and a strong grant track record. She was Chair of the Executive Board and programme coordinator of award-winning €7m EU nEUROSTRESSPEP and Scottish Enterprise High Growth Spinout Programmes; and was recipient of BBSRC personal FLIP award for a 2-year interchange programme with Ag Corp.
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Dr Paul Bernasconi

COO

Dr Paul Bernasconi

Paul Bernasconi is Consultant in the Agribusiness space working with privately funded start-ups in green biotechnology and former Executive and Director in Ag industry in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina for molecular and insect biology. Paul has a significant track record in white and green biotechnology, negotiation of commercial licences, high throughput screening programs in herbicide, insecticide and fungicide research and led a Department of 120 scientists in five locations across the US, Canada and Europe. Paul also contributed to the commercialization of two herbicides, dicamba tolerant soybean and omega-3 enhanced canola. He is Editor for High throughput screening publications and holder of over 12 patents in insect control, agrochemicals, microbiome engineering and genome editing.
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Professor Julian Dow

CSO

Professor Julian Dow, Sc.D. FRSE  FRES

Julian Dow is Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Glasgow and a world-leading expert in insect ‘omics, epithelial and renal function with 200 papers, and ~15k citations. Julian pioneered Drosophila functional genomics, integrative physiology and metabolomics, extending this to multiple insect species. He developed the globally-accessed FlyAtlas.org and FlyAtlas2.org transcriptomics resources, the recent metabolomics FlyMet.org platform and was the ‘Omics lead on the nEUROSTRESSPEP project, covering multiomics of several insect species. He has served as Chair of UKRI BBSRC ENNW Strategic Advisory Panel and the RSE Fellowship Organismal Biology Panel; Vice Chair for UoA5, REF2021; and is an Editor of Journal of Experimental Biology.
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CFO

David Armour

An experienced Chartered Accountant, CFO and Corporate Financier with nearly 30 years’ commercial experience in investment and financial management. David was a founding partner of Pentech Ventures, the UK’s leading software Venture Capital firm, and works across a broad spectrum of business issues. He is also an active executive within several companies, responsible for diverse operational issues and Commercial Contractor with the High Growth Start-Up Unit at Scottish Enterprise.

 

News

SOLASTA Bio kicks off Innovate UK grant project, 2021-22

SOLASTA Bio kicks off Innovate UK grant project, 2021-22 UKI2S Accelerator Programme for Technology Development Projects: Round 12 Solasta Bio offers the pesticide industry and consumers a radically new solution to the biggest global challenge of this century — producing safe and plentiful food for a growing population. Our small protein (peptide)-based approach targets a …

SOLASTA Bio features in University of Glasgow Strategy 2025 Challenges

SOLASTA Bio features as an exemplar in the University of Glasgow’s  “Strategy 2025 Challenges” document. https://www.gla.ac.uk/explore/strategy/challenges/#creatingenvironmentallyfriendlyinsecticides CEO, Prof. Shireen Davies, commented: “We are excited to be included in the University’s latest strategy. This shows the relevance of SOLASTA Bio’s approach to translation, both within the University and commercial contexts”.

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