Founded September 2014
Stage Technology development
Investor Trendlines Incubators Israel
CEO Shai Ufaz, PhD
ViAqua’s platform for improving resilience to viral diseases in shellfish and fish utilizes a proprietary RNAi particle formulation. The coated particles are delivered via feed to improve farm profitability by reducing the losses to diseases.
Molecular biologist; experience in biotechnology, genetic engineering, protein expression; Project Manager, Protalix Biotherapeutics, TransAlgae; PhD, plant genetics
Marine biologist; experience in product development, management; VP Development and Projects, TransAlgae; CEO, Aurora-V; MSc, ecology systematics and evolution
Marine zoologist with extensive business experience; previously, Researcher at TransAlgae, Director of R&D at Nanocyte, and Executive Chairman of Business at Ma'agan Michael; led several firms in senior executive positions spanning diverse fields, including agriculture, aquaculture, desalination, cleantech, energy, trading, precision technology, and plastics
Over 20 years of experience in senior executive positions; previously, head of R&D, Hazera; VP R&D Pharma API, Perrigo; CS Israel Site Manager, Intel
Extensive development in fields of drug delivery and nanotechnology, including RNAi delivery method licensed to Monsanto; Assistant Professor Chemical Engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Robert Langer, MIT
Preventing and treating disease, particularly viral infections, is one of the major challenges facing aquaculture today. Currently, drugs to combat aquaculture diseases are generally injected into shellfish/fish one at a time. This labor-intensive and costly solution is relevant for large premium fish such as salmon, but it leaves shellfish and small fish unprotected, resulting in production losses of 20% or greater in certain species.
The underdeveloped area of virus/disease treatment in aquaculture is becoming a focus of interest and activity as the drive to increase food production for feeding the world’s growing population intensifies.
ViAqua’s first product is for shrimp, the most important aquaculture commodity, which accounts for 20% of the total international trade value of fish products. According to the USDA, diseases cause 10% to 20% losses in shrimp aquaculture. Delivery presents a major challenge for effective, economical treatment. Treatment for other shellfish (e.g., lobster, crab) and fish will follow.