Sep 25, 2019Agragene’s Knock-Out uses live sterile male insects for pest control
Agragene Inc.has acquired an exclusive, worldwide license to Precision-Guided Sterile Insect Technology from the University of California.
According to a Sept. 24 news release, Agragene uses this technology to create environmentally responsible insect pest control products for growers. With insecticide resistance increasing and retail pesticide costs escalating, we offer growers better and more cost-effective alternatives to chemical pesticides.
“With Knock-Out, our goal is to bring effective and safe crop pest control to growers at a fraction of the cost of the chemical insecticides that they are using today,” said Gordon Robert Alton, President and Chief Executive Officer, Agragene. “By deploying our sterile male insects into growers’ fields with autonomous drones they now have an approach that requires essentially no field labor. Currently, the agricultural sector is facing enormous shortages of migrant labor and our solution alleviates this major expense. By eliminating insecticides the growers’ crop may be organically certified thereby further increasing profits.”
The Knock-Out product brings cutting edge, proprietary genomic technology to a decades old technology known as sterile insect technique. Agragene’s approach provides safe precise control and an exceptionally cost-effective solution to deploying sterile male insects onto growers’ fields.
“We have created an eco-friendly product that is safe for bees, safe for birds and protects workers. Consumers will enjoy healthy pesticide-free organic food,” said David Webb, Chairman of the Board, Agragene. “This is a smart, ecologically sustainable and profitable business for all of us.”
Knock-Out benefits include:
- Lower costs as multiple chemical insecticides are eliminated
- Lower costs due to less field labor required to spray the field
- Workers can resume harvesting of the crop immediately following application
- More rapid, flexible and real-time control of the pest
- Increased revenue for “Organic” crop produce
- Birds, bees and beneficial insects are protected
- Safer for workers
- Pesticide-free food for consumers
Agragene is a biotechnology company founded in 2017 based in San Diego, CA. Agragene is the smart choice for organic crop pest control. Using advanced CRISPR-based genome engineering Agragene creates insect birth control products that are applicable to thousands of insect pests worldwide. Agragene’s initial Knock-Out product targets spotted wing drosophila, a major global crop pest. The company is developing its technology for near-term commercial launch in the United States and establishing partnerships for future commercialization in other countries worldwide.