Intrexon Corporation, a leader in synthetic biology, announced its subsidiary Oxitec and Piracicaba City Hall have expanded the ‘Friendly Aedes aegypti Project’ in Piracicaba, Brazil following strong results for controlling the Ae. aegypti mosquito population, the primary vector for dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus outbreaks around the world.
In preparation of this growing program and to meet increasing demand for its proprietary vector control solution, Oxitec is initiating a new mosquito production facility in Piracicaba that will have capacity to protect over 300,000 people.
“We are delighted Piracicaba is encouraged by our strong results and expanding the program. Our new facility will support the roll out of our groundbreaking vector-control across the heart of the city and beyond,” said Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry. “As the principal source for the fastest growing vector-borne infection in the world in Dengue Fever, as well as the increasingly challenging Zika virus, controlling the Aedes aegypti population provides the best defense against these serious diseases for which there are no cures.”
Following approval by Brazil’s National Biosafety Committee (CTNBio) for releases throughout the country, Piracicaba’s CECAP/Eldorado district became the world’s first municipality to partner directly with Oxitec and in April 2015 started releasing its self-limiting mosquitoes whose offspring do not survive. By the end of the calendar year, results had already indicated a reduction in wild mosquito larvae by 82%. Oxitec’s efficacy trials across Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands all resulted in a greater than 90% suppression of the wild Ae. aegypti mosquito population – an unprecedented level of control.
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