Pluton Biosciences, LLC
Raised of $75K - $150K Goal
To Invest
Successfully Funded
As Of June 7, 2019
Invest In
Pluton Biosciences, LLC
Micromining Nature's Solutions
St. Louis, MO
Who We Are

Nature is full of untapped potential. Microbes are a proven but underused resource for uncovering novel solutions for today's biggest problems. Soil is a rich and abundant resource for microbes - a teaspoon of soil contains more than 100 billion bacteria and hundreds of thousands of species, each with their own undiscovered talents and capabilities.

Pluton “mines” the soil to quickly and inexpensively discover new ways to use microbes to make next generation bioproducts for a variety of industries. Pluton’s process fills critical cracks in the Research and Development pipeline by speeding the introduction of novel and beneficial products to market.

Our Goals

Pluton Biosciences aspires to solve global problems and help ensure a sustainable future for our planet. To do this, we aim to utilize our Targeted Discovery approach to uncover innovative microbial solutions.

Offer Details
$75,000 Goal
Convertible Note
6.0% Interest
Maturity Date: 2020-12-31
Please see the Form C in the Documents & Downloads section for specific conversion rights for this convertible note offering.
A Convertible Note is a loan agreement with the intention of converting to future equity in the company.
Documents & Downloads

Form C


what are microbes?

Microbes are microscopic organisms that include bacteria, fungi, and viruses. They are everywhere - in the air, in the soil, in the ocean, and even in you!  It is estimated that half of the cells in the human body aren't human, but bacteria. 

Microbes have been on Earth much longer than we have - nearly 4 billion years! They have adapted to all kinds of environmental insults, and can live in environments where no other organisms survive.  It's truly a microbe's world, not ours.

microbes: Nature's "master inventors"

It is estimated that our planet is home to a trillion microbial species. In a single teaspoon of soil, there are more than 100 billion bacteria.

These microbes are quite talented - they can degrade environmental contaminants, make drugs to cure disease, protect our crops, and fight vectors of disease. Microbes have given us some of our most important discoveries, ones which have changed the course of human development.

Antibiotics. Crop protection. Bioremediation. The ability to edit our own genomes. All of these inventions were not human inventions, just ones we borrowed from microbes. Microbes truly are nature's "master inventors."

What else can microbes do? At Pluton, we search for the "what else."

A number of problems face our growing planet: threats to our food supply, emerging diseases, environmental hazards. We ask microbes: what solutions do you have?

Micromining, Explained
the Research & development pipeline needs innovation

Scientific research and product development is difficult. In the biotech industry, the R&D pipeline is long, expensive, and full of dead-ends. By providing development-ready leads to creators of new bioproducts, Pluton enables these companies to deliver commercially viable biosolutions faster and cheaper. This means more innovations on the market and more problems solved naturally.

Using Micromining, our Agile Discovery platform, we identify microbial leads for partners that want to produce biosolutions that replace outdated or harmful chemical products.

Pluton enables discovery. Help us discover a sustainable tomorrow today.

A world-class discovery team

To enable the Micromining platform, a company needs world-class scientists and engineers on board. Micromining requires a diverse group of talents and expertise. 

Pluton's team is made up of scientists with expertise in microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, genomics, assay development, and of course, the microbiome. We work with engineers to automate our data capture, enabling us to make discoveries faster.

Pluton is guided by the strong leadership of our CEO, Charlie Walch, who has extensive entrepreneurial and management experience.

Our efforts are supported by a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of respected and accomplished scientists from St. Louis and beyond. These scientists provide us with valuable ideas and feedback to help develop our discovery process. In addition, our business advisors have over 50 years combined experience working in Silicon Valley as bankers, venture capitalists, software developers, and accelerator managers.

Our Proof of Concept: killing the disease-transmitting mosquito AEDES AEGYPTI

We demonstrated the power of Pluton's Micromining approach using one of the most notable and historical threats to mankind: mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are the world's deadliest animal, responsible for spreading a number of devastating viral and parasitic diseases. Pluton's proof-of-concept efforts targeted the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits yellow and dengue fevers, as well as the Zika and Chikungunya viruses.

Using Micromining, Pluton identified two novel bacteria with insecticidal properties against Ae. aegypti in 3 months. To provide perspective, only two other bacterial species have been developed for use against mosquitoes in the past 30 years!

What's next

We have recently entered into a joint development agreement with our first customer, Terramera, a leader in technology for clean food. We are actively collaborating with Terramera to develop a number of our novel bioinsecticides for use against agricultural pests. Terramera is an excellent match for our first collaboration – we excel at discovery of bioactives and Terramera excels at improving and formulating bioactives.

See our recent press release for more information about this exciting development.

Meet The Team
Charlie Walch
Chief Executive Officer; Member, Board of Managers
Charlie has run businesses for over 25 years. He excels at building healthy workplace cultures while developing profitable market leading services.
Glen Schuster
A former CTO of Centene & a data strategy consultant, Glen advises Pluton on our data & software technology as well as general business strategy.
Ann Guggisberg, PH.D.
A geneticist with microbiology & entomology experience, Ann designs experiments to characterize our lead bioactives. She also works with our collaborators to enable lead development.
A microbiologist with over 20 years of laboratory experience, Diana directs our microbial sourcing, isolation, & characterization.
Dr. Ruzycki develops computational approaches for a variety of biological problems. He consults on Pluton's efforts to identify & characterize our microbe samples.
Keith has been developing robotics solutions, automated machinery, & automated image analysis systems for over 30 years. Keith consults on Pluton's efforts to automate our Micromining process.
Dr. Goldman is an expert in microbial ecology & has built world-class microbial discovery pipelines for multiple leading agricultural companies (Monsanto & Indigo Ag).
Dave Mell
Business Advisor
Dave is a trained aerospace engineer with over 20 years of experience in software development & productization and is a founder of Magnolia Burch Partners, a software consulting company.
Dr. Dantas is a world expert on microbial genomics, ecology, & physiology. He advises Pluton on the sourcing and characterization of our our microbes.
An expert on microbial physiology, behavior, and genomics, Dr. Welch advises Pluton on many aspects of the sourcing and characterization of our microbes.
Dr. Odom John is an accomplished molecular biologist who studies ways to diagnose and treat malaria, a mosquito-borne disease. She advises Pluton on assay development & lead characterization.
Specific To Pluton Biosciences, LLC

Pluton may fail to make new discoveries.

We may face unanticipated operational difficulties, including an inability to obtain necessary permits or governmental approvals, the development of competing technologies, experimental failure, or the unavailability of key equipment or reagents.

Pluton may not be able to develop our discoveries into useful products.

Development of new products can be lengthy, expensive, and complex. We, or our customers, may be unable to develop or commercialize any of the product candidates we are currently researching. This may be due to formulation failure, lack of efficacy in field or clinical trials, or the inability to obtain necessary regulatory approval.

The development and commercialization of Pluton’s products will be too competitive.

We face competition in our ability to license our discoveries to existing manufacturers for joint development into commercial products. Our competitors include the in-house research divisions at major companies, as well as smaller or early-stage companies that collaborate with larger companies. Many of these competitors have greater resources and product development experience than we do. Major companies, who we envision as potential customers/licensees, may not elect to license our discoveries, and instead opt to rely on their own internal research pipeline.

Pluton will be unable to recruit, retain, and develop the necessary personnel with the right expertise.

The success of our Agile Discovery process requires highly qualified personnel. We may have to train existing personnel or hire additional personnel, which can be competitive. Additionally, our consultants and advisors may have commitments under employment, consulting, or advisory contracts with third parties that may limit their availability to us.

Pluton will be unable to obtain necessary intellectual property rights, including patents and trademarks.

In order to maintain a competitive advantage, our discoveries must be protected by intellectual property, such as patents and trademarks. Our intellectual property rights may not be broad enough or may not provide us a significant competitive advantage. Additionally, our intellectual property may be challenged, invalidated, or circumvented by third parties. Protection of our intellectual property may also involve initiating expensive and time-consuming litigation.

Pluton’s product success may be hindered by substantial environmental liability and limitations due to environmental laws and regulations.

The products developed from our discoveries are subject to extensive federal, state, local and foreign environmental, health, and safety laws and regulations concerning matters such as air emissions, wastewater discharges, solid and hazardous waste handling and disposal, and the investigation and remediation of contamination. These regulations may result in substantial costs and liabilities. Compliance with these requirements may prove to be more limiting and costly than we anticipate.

Pluton will be unable to raise sufficient capital to sustain our current business plan.

In order for Pluton achieve our near and long-term goals, we will need to procure funds in addition to the amount raised in this offering. There is no guarantee that Pluton will be able to raise such funds. If we are unable to raise sufficient capital in the future, we will not be able to execute our business plan, our continued operations will be in jeopardy, and we may be forced to cease operations and sell or otherwise transfer all or substantially all of our remaining assets, which could cause a Purchaser to lose all or a portion of his or her investment.


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Review the Form C on file with the SEC for other important disclosures including GAAP financial statements, key members of the company with a significant stake or more than 20% voting rights and legal information about the company, entity type and date and place of incorporation.

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Funding with Nvsted

Pluton Biosciences, LLC is conducting a Regulation Crowdfunding offering via a website owned and operated by STL Critical Technologies JV I LLC. CRD Number: #288930.

Convertible Note
6.0% Interest

A Convertible Note is a loan agreement with the intention of converting to future equity in the company.

Pluton Biosciences, LLC
Successfully Funded
As Of June 7, 2019
Common Questions We're Asked
What can you discover?
We like to say, "if you can dream it, microbes can do it." The possibilities are endless, and we are open to all of them. There is an incredible amount of untapped potential in the microbial world - scientists estimate that we have only discovered 1 in a million of the world’s microbes!

Where does this untapped potential come from? Microbes are exposed to all kinds of unique environments and challenges to their survival. As a result, they have invented all sorts of solutions in order to thrive. This ability to adapt provides the rich repository of bioactives that Pluton can Micromine.

For example, some bacteria have adapted to be insect pathogens. Bacteria can do this a number of ways, many of which remain undiscovered. The bacteria themselves, as well as the bioactives they produce, can all be uncovered by Pluton’s Micromining process. To demonstrate the power of our Micromining platform, we identified novel bacteria that kill Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae. The mechanisms that these new bacteria use to kill the larvae are completely distinct from those found in current bacterial larvicides.

Other targets of interest may include additional pests of humans and plants, such as ticks or the emerald ash borer. Bacteria have also adapted to degrade environmental contaminants or produce useful chemicals. Pluton is eager to tackle these problems with our Agile Discovery approach.
How does Pluton license its discoveries?
We license our discoveries through joint development agreements with companies who will develop and commercialize our leads.

Please see Form C for more information regarding our joint development agreements.
Does Pluton have any customers?
Yes! Recently, we were excited to announce our joint development agreement with Terramera, the global leader in Technology for Clean Food ( Based in Vancouver, Terramera specializes at improved targeted performance of bioactives to create environmentally-friendly products with superior performance. They will pair Pluton’s novel bioactives with their Actigate™ technology for testing on a number of pests.

Simply said, Terramera is an excellent match for our first collaboration – we excel at discovery of bioactives and Terramera excels at improving bioactives.

For more information, see our recent joint press release:
How many discoveries does Pluton plan on making?
With $150,000 and less than a year's time, we discovered multiple novel mosquitocidal bacteria and licensed these discoveries to our first customer. We plan to maintain this momentum.

With the money raised in the current seed round, we plan to conduct three more discovery assays before the end of 2019.

The long term pace of lead generation will depend on future funding, commercialization success, and market adoption.
Why is Pluton located in St. Louis?
All members of our founding team have a strong connection to St. Louis, and we are proud to call St. Louis home. We are based in the CIC@CET community in the Cortex district, and we have been impressed with the thriving start-up community here.

St. Louis is an epicenter for agricultural technology (“agtech”) and biomedical research, making it the perfect place to connect with collaborators, customers, and talent.

Finally, St. Louis is a capital-efficient place to run a business. The cost of living is a fraction of that on the coasts. Therefore, investors will get more for their money because our scientists and engineers get more for theirs.
Where can/do you get your soil for the mining process?
We collect soil from all types of locations – the more variety, the better!

In our next phase of research, we will obtain the regulatory permits necessary to import and test soil from many locations in the United States.

Just using a small soil library (100 soils), we were able to “overachieve” at our proof-of-concept work by finding multiple, novel mosquitocidal microbes.
What is an “assay” and why is it important?
Simply put, an assay is a test. At Pluton, we use assays to measure the efficacy of the bioactives we discover. Every new target requires an assay in order to test if the microbes we find are active against our target.

Assay design is a pillar of our Micromining platform. Assays connect our microbe collection with the target of interest (a pest, environmental contaminant, pathogen, etc.), two key aspects of Agile Discovery. Well-designed assays allow us to test our microbes quickly and get meaningful data in order to prioritize leads for our customers.
How can I learn more about Pluton?
To learn more about Pluton, visit our website at

You can also follow us on social media:

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We'd Love To Hear From You

Alan Jacobson
Potential Investor
Hi, excellent presentation and great team. My questions are in two areas. First, how can you "win" vs. those with much deeper pockets - what are the possibilities for IP that would give you an advantage, and what other advantages can you maintain even against those who are bigger? On the financial side, what will your realistic runway be when you raise between 75-150K, assuming a conservative estimate of when and how much revenue will be generated? Thanks!
Charlie Walch
Great questions. I'll address the competitive position first. Pluton can "win" by making it easier for the large bioproducers to order basic research from Pluton than to rely on traditional sourcing approaches. Bioproducers currently have three choices for sourcing new commercial discoveries: they can wait for academic labs to publish new discoveries, they can make new discoveries through their own in-house research efforts, or they can buy new products that have been developed by startup companies. Waiting on academic research misses market opportunities, in-house research requires investments in expensive infrastructure, and buying developed products requires paying a premium. Pluton’s Micromining® platform offers bioproducers a low-cost targeted “buy not make or wait” alternative to microbial discovery and allows established producers to fully leverage their own product development infrastructure. In addition, we will be seeking to protect all discoveries via patents. On the runway side, $75k gets us to October. By then, we expect to have the Seed round closed (target $1M from traditional angel investors). That process is well underway and will go in full swing June 7. We do not anticipate revenues from discoveries being sufficient until after our Seed and Series A rounds are closed.
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