Bio-Gene is an Australian agtech development company, with a novel technology platform based on a naturally occurring class of plant compounds known as beta-triketones, that seeks to address the global problems of insecticide resistance and toxicity. Beta-triketone compounds have exhibited significant insecticidal activity (e.g. kill or knock-down of insects) via a novel mode of action. This platform may provide multiple potential new solutions for pest control across public health, crop protection, grain storage, animal health and in consumer applications. The insecticidal activity of this beta-triketone chemical class was first discovered following a botanical screening program looking to identify natural product-based insecticides in Australian flora.
Bio-Gene is developing two products targeted at different sectors of the insecticide market:
- Flavocide™, a chemically synthesised product based on flavesone, a nature identical compound found in plants of the family Myrtaceae that includes myrtles and eucalpyts; and
- Qcide™, derived from a natural oil product containing tasmanone as the main active constituent and extracted from the leaves of a rare cultivar of an Australian eucalypt, the Gympie Messmate (Eucalyptus cloeziana).
Flavocide and Qcide have been developed by Bio-Gene to address the major worldwide problem of insecticide resistance in the areas of public health, crop protection, grain storage, animal health, and consumer applications.
Both products have been shown to have promising insecticidal activity against a broad range of insects known to cause damage across a range of market segments:
- Public health – insects such as flies and mosquitoes, including Anophelesmosquitoes that transmit malaria, and Aedes mosquitoes that are vectors for Zika and Dengue viruses;
- Agricultural crops – pests such as aphids and mites;
- Stored grain – borer and beetle pests; and
- Animal health – ticks & flies in cattle, ticks and fleas in companion animals.
Studies have shown that Flavocide and Qcide act effectively on resistant insect populations indicating a unique mode of action.
Bio-Gene owns patents covering the use of these beta-triketone insecticides for insect control.
The Company is continuing to evaluate these two products against other insects in laboratory and field situations.
Both of these beta-triketones may potentially be used alone, or in combination with other insecticides, with targeted applications in insect pest management and insecticide resistance management programs.