AgTech developer Bio-Gene Technology (ASX: BGT) has received positive safety results from toxicology studies into its flavesone chemical, which is part of its next generation insecticides.
Bio-Gene’s active ingredient flavesone is incorporated in the company’s Flavocide-branded products. Flavesone has been developed from naturally-occurring beta-triketone chemicals, in what Bio-Gene anticipates will address insecticide resistance and toxicity.
The toxicology study involved acute and seven-day repeat testing resulting in a favourable safety profile. The study’s success means Bio-Gene can move onto 28-day oral and dermal toxicity studies.
“The findings from the acute seven-day toxicology studies indicate that flavesone has a high safety threshold and we are excited to be able to initiate longer term studies, which will form part of our future registration filings,” Bio-Gene chief executive officer-elect Richard Jagger said.
“As well as demonstrating product efficacy, a critical part of registering any new insecticide is to demonstrate that it is safety to mammals at expected exposure rates,” Mr Jagger added.
He said the initial results indicated the Flavocide product would satisfy safety criteria in the longer-term studies.
Listing on the ASX less than a month ago and raising A$7 million, Bio-Gene reported its Flavocide product had been effective against the redlegged earth mite which is a major pest to grain growers.
According to Bio-Gene, this was the fourth study that Flavocide had shown activity against insecticide resistant pests.
Part of the broader pesticide market, Bio-Gene estimates the four main market categories for the global insecticide market are worth billions.
The company anticipates consumer applications like sprays, baits and replants are worth more than US$5 billion, while the livestock and pet insecticide market is valued at US$6 billion, public health for treating diseases such as malaria, zika and dengue is estimated at US$4 billion, while the larger crop protection segment is valued at US$16 billion.
To further its work, Bio-Gene has a collaboration with CSIRO to improve its Flavocide manufacturing systems and more product at a lower cost. Initial results from this study are anticipated in mid-2018.
Bio-Gene is also working with Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on assessing the effectiveness of its Flavocide on grain storage pests including resistant strains.
By mid-day, Bio-Gene’s shares were up 5% at A$0.21.