Oxford, UK, 2nd October, 2015
Oxitec is delighted to be named the Best Emerging UK SynBio company by OBN for our pioneering work tackling insect pests that spread disease and damage crops. The award category recognizes the synthetic biology companies showing the greatest promise.
Hadyn Parry, CEO, said, “The health and food security challenges we are facing as a country and as a global society demand innovative solutions. We are grateful for the recognition that we are providing effective and environmentally friendly ways to control insect pests that are destroying important food crops and spreading terrible diseases like Dengue. By harnessing the potential of synthetic biology we are tackling these problems head on with the aim of improving lives around the world.”
Ross Sommerville, Interim CEO of OBN, said, “The UK life sciences sector is crucial for developing leading edge treatments for patients and is a vital part of the UK economy. Our Awards shine a light on the exciting and innovative achievements made throughout the past 15 months and in the long run will help maintain the industry’s prime position and ensure continued investment for new and emerging products.”
The 7th annual awards from OBN celebrate outstanding achievements in the UK life sciences from biotech, medtech, synbio, and investor companies, and were announced 1st October at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, UK.
For the full list of winners: http://www.obn.org.uk/news/obn-annual-awards-2015-celebrates-uks-life-sciences-champions/
To learn more about OBN: http://www.obn.org.uk
Oxitec, a subsidiary of Intrexon, is a pioneer in environmentally friendly insect pest control. Oxitec genetically engineers insects to use them as an eco-friendly tool to reduce pest populations of the same species. The approach is toxin-free and is aimed at helping to reduce reliance on insecticides.
The way the approach works is by releasing Oxitec male insects to mate with pest females. Their offspring do not survive and with successive releases the pest population is reduced. The Oxitec insects mate with their own species so the genes do not spread, and the insects die out so the released insects and their genes do not persist in the environment.
The leading product is the Oxitec mosquito (OX513A) which is targeted at the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads painful diseases like Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika virus. To date Oxitec has released more than 100 million of its mosquitoes worldwide, with trials in several countries including Cayman Islands, Panama and Brazil. In each of these efficacy trials, the dengue mosquito was reduced by more than 90% — an unprecedented level of control by any method.
The Brazil National BioSafety Commission of Brazil (CTNBio) has approved the Oxitec mosquito for releases throughout the country and the world’s first municipal partnership releasing Oxitec mosquitoes is currently going ahead in Piracicaba. OX513A is the first GM insect and indeed first GM animal to receive such approval anywhere in the world.
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