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ViAqua Therapeutics

Year of Investment 2023

Description of the portfolio company

Founded in 2014 by Shai Ufaz (CEO) and Shai Einbinder in Haifa, Israel, ViAqua Therapeutics (VA) is a biotech platform developing RNA-based solutions for major viral diseases that impact global shrimp aquaculture.


Investment rationale

ViAqua Therapeutics is an Israeli start-up developing RNA-based treatments that target major viral diseases in shrimp aquaculture for which there are currently no viable solutions. Global disease-related losses in farmed shrimped production are estimated at around 20% of total production volumes ($5-6b p.a.), making them the single largest threat to the industry. ViAqua has developed a solution which can be delivered orally by being mixed with shrimp feed and has proven efficacy in major diseases such as White Spot Syndrome. ViAqua’s White Spot solution will be taken to market by Skretting, a global leader in aqua-feed.

ViAqua presents a strong fit with Rabobank’s food transition strategy especially in the reduction of food wast and the strengthening of farmer livelihoods. Mortality reduction equates to greater resource efficiency in the feed, water and fuel being utilized by animals that do get to the plate. From a social perspective; small holder farmers (who account for the majority of supply) regularly lose customers, abandon farms, and fall into debt-traps when disease damages their output. Given Rabo’s strong footprint and recognised expertise in aquaculture, ViAqua is excited to explore the commercial opportunities the new partnership will unlock.