Bio-Gene achieves key milestone during development of its Flavocide pesticide

Bio-Gene Technology ASX BGT Flavocide grain storage pest BASF Queensland DAF GRDC
Bio-Gene’s Flavocide product has met industry benchmarks in a grain storage trial program.

Agriculture technology (AgTech) company Bio-Gene Technology (ASX: BGT) has reported results from a recent grain storage program and said its Flavocide product was able to meet key industry standards.

Results confirmed that Flavocide continued to demonstrate control over offspring of adult Lesser grain borer – a type of insect that first originated in South America but is now a cosmopolitan pest especially in warmer countries – over an industry benchmarked nine-month period in both field and laboratory conditions, the company said.

Bio-Gene is currently developing a variety of “next generation of novel insecticides” that attempt to address the global problems of insecticide resistance and toxicity.

According to the company, its novel platform technology is based on naturally occurring “beta-triketones”, a type of chemistry that may offer new solutions for insect management control in crop protection, grain storage, public health, consumer applications and animal health.

In order to validate its product development, the company embarked on a grain storage trial program for its synthetic Flavocide molecule that was developed with the assistance of the CSIRO, initially formulated as an emulsion in water for use in a range of agricultural and public health applications.

The product aims to deliver significantly increased production yield compared with extraction from plant materials and could become a staple product for storage facilities seeking to mitigate the growing problem of insecticide resistance and loss of yield.

The company’s CEO Richard Jagger spoke exclusively to Small Caps last year, around the time of Bio-Gene’s ASX-listing where he explained that Bio-Gene’s products are targeting large agri-businesses, commercial farmers, but also, individual consumers through the sale of sprays and repellents utilising both natural and synthetic beta-triketones.

Countering a pest problem

Currently, the incidence of pest resistance is rising in Australia and all other major countries that utilise large agribusiness farming methods. In some cases, farmers have lost as much as 70% of their grain while in storage as a result of pests that destroy farmed produce.

One of the major problems eluding pesticide developers is that there is no universal approach to control all major pests that impact stored grain.

Bio-Gene thinks it can provide a working solution through its development of Flavocide, which has the potential to create formulations that will enable control of the full range of pests including pests resistant to other classes of chemistry.

Bio-Gene said the positive trial results it has received would serve as a platform for a further trial program in collaboration with German chemical giant BASF, the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries, the Queensland Government (DAF) and the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC).

According to Bio-Gene, the new program will try to determine the optimum combination of Flavocide with other chemical groups to generate commercial products.

“We are delighted with these results which confirm Flavocide has achieved a significant industry standard and further strengthens the commercial viability of our technology,” said Mr Jagger.

“The objective of this trial program was to confirm Flavocide was able to control the most common grain storage pest in Australia, the Lesser grain borer, over a nine-month period and pleasingly we have achieved that. This now serves as an excellent basis for our collaborative trial program with BASF, DAF and the GRDC,” Mr Jagger said.

This morning’s news helped Bio-Gene shares to post a 10% gain up to $0.16 per share before midday.