Bio-Gene Technology collaborates with CSIRO on insecticide development
Newly ASX-listed company Bio-Gene Technology (ASX:BGT), a Melbourne-based manufacturer of insecticides, has entered into an extended research agreement with CSIRO to develop improved manufacturing systems for its lead product, Flavocide.
Bio-Gene’s novel platform technology was founded on naturally occurring β-triketones, with both Flavocide and secondary product Qcide developed from the β-triketone chemical class. Flavocide is based on flavesone, a chemically synthesised nature-identical compound, as part of a class of chemistry identified in Eucalyptus cloeziana extracts that have been shown to have insecticidal activity.
Flavocide has been shown to have promising insecticidal activity against insects known to cause damage to agricultural crops, insects which affect animals and insects causing major public health issues. Studies have also shown that Flavocide appears to act effectively against insecticide-resistant pests, including mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and grain storage pests, when compared to existing insecticides.
“Many of the insecticide classes currently in use have toxicity profiles that pose mounting human and environmental problems,” said Bio-Gene CEO-elect Richard Jagger. “Heavy reliance on relatively few chemistry groups has also led to the development of pest resistance, especially in agriculture where pests of both crops and livestock can be continually exposed to these compounds.
“As the global agriculture insecticide market continues to grow, there is real potential to disrupt the current paradigm with an insect control solution based on novel chemistry that is targeted, is safer, has low environmental impact, is cost-effective to use and is active against resistant strains of pests.”
CSIRO and Bio-Gene previously undertook an initial pilot study where CSIRO was able to develop an improved production system for Flavocide, significantly reducing estimated cost of production as well as increasing production yield. Under the extended agreement, CSIRO will continue to evaluate alternative manufacturing processes as well as refine processes developed in the pilot study.
“The ability to produce Flavocide in large quantities while controlling cost is an extremely important part of our business model, which relies on supplying active ingredients to our partners,” said Jagger. “The results we have obtained in our pilot studies with CSIRO have been extremely encouraging and we have great hopes for this collaboration to lead to further improvements.”
The news comes just one day after Bio-Gene announced it was listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) after raising $7.1 million in its initial public offering (IPO). The company issued 35.5 million shares at a price of $0.20 per share as part of its IPO, giving it a market capitalisation of $25.3 million upon listing.
Bio-Gene plans to use funds raised in the IPO to progress the commercialisation of both Flavocide and Qcide, including securing additional collaboration partners, expanding product evaluations, filing patent applications and generating data needed to prepare regulatory submissions required to take the products to market.
Bio-Gene Technology (ASX:BGT) shares were trading 2.5% higher at $0.205 as of around 1.30 pm on Thursday.
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