Bio-Gene Technology (ASX: BGT) has secured a partnership with world leading chemical company BASF, with the duo planning to develop Bio-Gene’s Flavocide technology for use is stored grain pest control across Australia.
The Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture & Fisheries (DAF) will carry out the research with BASF to contribute both funding and expertise.
Research will build on Bio-Gene’s previous trial where Flavocide was combined with existing chemistries to create formulations that successfully controlled a range of pests.
Bio-Gene anticipates the new studies will take about 12 months to complete and enable residual performance testing of the formulations.
In return for its input and funding, BASF will be given first rights to negotiate a commercial deal and an exclusive position to market the product in Australia.
The duo will also evaluate additional market opportunities for collaboration.
Bio-Gene chief executive officer and managing director Richard Jagger said the agreement with BASF was a major milestone for the company.
“BASF is one of the leading developers globally of new chemistry to the agriculture sector and Bio-Gene will benefit significantly from their resources, access to market channels and support services.”
“We are confident that together with BASF and DAF, we have assembled a leading team of experts to undertake this work,” Mr Jagger added.
A need for Flavocide
According to Bio-Gene, plenty of issues surround pest resistance in current products used for grain storage.
There is no current single chemistry that is effective against all pests that impact stored grain.
Additionally, the incidence of pest resistance is rising across Australia and the world, with some businesses reporting they have lost 50% of their stored grain as a result of pests.
Unlike traditional pest control methods, Bio-Gene’s Flavocide technology is based on a naturally occurring class of chemicals known as Beta-Triketones.
The company produces a synthetic copy of the compound that can be mass produced with the advantage of high efficacy and low toxicity.
Bio-Gene anticipates its Flavocide technology has the potential to create formulations that will be able to control a full range of pests in grain storage including those resistant to current chemistries.
The company’s research collaboration with BASF and DAF will evaluate commercially viable formulations that provide broad stored grain pest control, optimum application rates for resistance management and synergistic effects of the combined chemistry.
During 2018, BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division generated €6.2 billion (A$10 billion) in sales.