Oxitec’s New Friendly Aedes aegypti Mosquito Technology Receives Full Biosafety Approval in Brazil
- Following a full scientific evaluation, Brazil’s national regulatory authority, CTNBio, approved the biosafety of Oxitec’s new generation of Aedes aegypti mosquito technology for deployment throughout Brazil
- Approval confirmed that the technology is safe and poses no risk to humans or the environment
- Oxitec continues to develop Friendly™ mini-capsule technology which will be used to deliver this strain economically at scale
Oxford, UK – May 2020 – Oxitec Ltd., a leading developer of safe and targeted biological solutions to control insects that transmit disease and destroy crops, today celebrates receiving full biosafety approval to release its new Friendly Aedes aegypti mosquito technology, granted by CTNBio, Brazil’s biosafety regulatory authority. The approval is the result of an in-depth and rigorous scientific review process that included an expansive assessment of the technology and its safety for humans and the environment.
The approval was granted without exception and authorizes releases of the technology throughout Brazil. CTNBio’s full biosafety review found no risk to human health or the environment, further validating positive regulatory decisions and technical opinions of regulatory authorities around the world.
Oxitec’s new Friendly™ Aedes aegypti technology represents a significant leap forward in efforts to provide municipalities and communities with safe, economical and scalable tools to combat the growing worldwide threat posed by the invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits devastating diseases such as dengue, Zika, yellow fever and chikungunya. This new strain provides multi-generation suppression, non-biting male-only production and releases, the potential for reversing growing insecticide resistance to traditional pesticides, and the ability for egg-based deployments in Oxitec’s Friendly™ mini-capsule technology, all features that are unique to Oxitec’s technology.
Pilot programs using this new technology have been conducted in Brazil since 2018, generating repeatedly over 90% suppression of the targeted Aedes aegypti mosquito population in dense, urban, dengue-prone environments.
Grey Frandsen, CEO of Oxitec, said “As we’re learning with the COVID-19 crisis, it is critical to aggressively address global public health challenges head-on with a broad coalition of stakeholders and new technologies. Our goal with this new technology is to empower governments and communities of all sizes to control dengue-spreading mosquitoes effectively and economically without harmful impact on the environment. This CTNBio approval, alongside the excellent results in real-world field trials, is a big step to realizing this goal.”
The strain approved by CTNBio will be packaged into Oxitec’s Friendly™ mini-capsule technology, providing targeted suppression with simplicity and economic sustainability for deployments at scale. Oxitec has completed successful deployments of the technology as both adult releases and in the mini-capsule technology in Brazil, demonstrating its ability to suppress wild Aedes aegypti quickly and significantly with easy-to-use, just-add-water deployment devices, thereby eliminating the need for complex, costly operations associated with other insect-based technologies.
Natalia Ferreira, Oxitec’s Brazil director, said “This CTNBio approval is a big step towards making this important technology available for use throughout Brazil. We are thankful for CTNBio’s in-depth scientific review of our technology and for approving it in such a timely fashion,” she said.
The CTNBio decision is available here.
Earlier this month, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted Oxitec an Experimental Use Permit (EUP) for piloting the same technology in the United States.
Oxitec is a pioneer in biological solutions to safely and sustainably control insect pests that spread disease and damage crops. Oxitec was founded in 2002 as a spinout from the University of Oxford (UK) and is made up of a passionate and diverse team from 15 countries.