Front Range Biosciences’ co-founders are, from left, Chris Zalewski, chief science officer; Nick Hofmeister, chief operating officer; and Jonathan Vaught, chief executive. Courtesy Front Range Biosciences Inc.

Ag biotech firm Front Range Biosciences raises $1.5M

LAFAYETTE — Front Range Biosciences Inc., a startup agricultural biotech firm based in Lafayette, has raised $1.5 million in funding from five venture-capital firms.

Seed-round investors include Intuitive Private Equity, Salveo Capital, Sand Hill Angels, Harvard Business School Angel Alumni of New York and New York Angels.

Front Range Biosciences, founded in November 2015, provides industrial-scale tissue culture propagation and advanced breeding for plants that will be less susceptible to diseases and mold contamination, reducing the need to use pesticides.

“Investor demand was greater than expected, and we oversubscribed the round, validating our unique value proposition,” said Nick Hofmeister, the company’s chief operating officer and a co-founder.

The company will use the funding to build out its team and expand its flagship product, tissue culture, and to continue work on its breeding platform.

Front Range’s chief science officer and co-founder Chris Zalewski said the recent growth in markets for medicinal plants and nutraceuticals made this an attractive investment.

“We are also using genomics to map plant traits and advanced marker-assisted breeding to create new varietals with improved commercial value,” Zalewski said.