We harness the principles of natural selection to accelerate the discovery of new modes of action for better, safer herbicides so farmers can continue to feed the world.
By having science and technology work with nature, we are able to effectively screen more compounds than the entire industry combined, giving us an unprecedented head start towards sustainable crop protection.
We study real-world effects on whole plants so we can ask better questions earlier and make safer choices about the compounds we explore -- faster and less expensively than ever before.
As farmers strive to meet a rising population’s demand to grow more food with less environmental impact, they face many challenges - including the rapid rise of herbicide resistant weeds.
To keep growing food sustainably, we need better herbicides used in better ways. Without them, growers could easily lose half their yields and would be forced to abandon regenerative practices like low and no till. Our farmlands would produce less and the food we eat would require more water, fertilizer, and area to grow it. As a result, we’d see increased water stress, fertilizer use, erosion, deforestation and CO2 emissions worldwide.
Herbicides with new modes of action (MOAs) can break resistance and improve safety and sustainability.
Today weed resistance affects more than 250 weed species infesting nearly 100 crops. As a result, weed management costs have doubled for many farmers, and we’re overusing a dwindling number of herbicides at ever higher rates.
The root of the problem is the difficulty in finding new MOAs - none have been introduced in the past 30 years. As regulators withdraw older, less effective herbicides, even more pressure is put on the options that remain.
We can do better. We need herbicides with new modes of action that work together with other innovative tools and techniques so we can keep our crops safe.
moa will discover a new generation of safer herbicides, countering resistance and enabling food security.
Building on fundamental biology from Oxford’s Department of Plant Sciences, we’ve set up the first systematic empirical search for new MOAs with our 3 distinct in vivo discovery platforms.
Screens a huge diversity of natural and synthetic chemistries on miniaturised whole plants to rapidly identify an abundance of new, never commercialised herbicide modes of action at unprecedented scale, speed and cost.
Combines powerful genetics and bioinformatics to identify the precise target protein pathway of a new MOA in months rather than years, accelerating predictions of safety and optimization into farm-ready herbicides.
Miniature plants help discover additional chemistries with a particular new MOA, to find whole families of effective herbicides with new ways of working.
Learn more about our plant-led discovery platform.Learn More
moa has moved to the Bellhouse Building, a prestigious new facility recently opened at the Oxford Science Park.
Two new investors are to fund moa with a further £5 million extension to the company’s Series A funding round.
moa has a new CEO, Dr Virginia Corless, an experienced leader of cutting-edge enterprises that aim to make agriculture more efficient and sustainable. Dr Corless, who has a multi-disciplinary background, trained at the University of Cambridge and MIT. She has had senior roles in organisations concerned with energy, water and food security.