Evolva in sole-source US gov’t talks to advance anti-Zika nootkatone R&D

June 4, 2017 |

In Switzerland, Evolva confirmed that the Company is negotiating a sole-source contract with the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to advance the development and EPA registration of Evolva’s nootkatone product to help in the fight against the mosquitoes that transmit Zika virus.

The news represents the latest expansion of Evolva’s nootkatone work with the US government, which began as a collaboration with the CDC. Evolva and the CDC initially examined nootkatone’s effectiveness for tick control as a novel approach to reduce the spread of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. In late February 2016, Evolva’s nootkatone collaboration with the CDC expanded to include an additional focus on mosquitoes, including those that transmit Zika, chikungunya, dengue and West Nile viruses.

Last July we reported that he US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases sponsored studies to test Evolva’s nootkatone against mosquitoes infected with Zika virus. The study will evaluate nootkatone in multiple formulations against wild type and insecticide-resistant mosquitoes that carry the virus.

Studies were conducted at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, under NIAID’s preclinical services program. CSU researchers tested both the repellency and insecticidal properties of nootkatone against mosquitoes infected with the Zika virus. Data from these studies supplemented Evolva’s ongoing research to fulfill the US Environmental Protection Agency’s requirements for the commercial launch of nootkatone.

Nootkatone is a citrus ingredient that is characteristically associated with grapefruit. It can be extracted in minute quantities from the skin of grapefruit or the bark of the Alaska yellow cedar (also known as the Nootka cypress), or produced on an industrial scale from brewing via yeast fermentation.

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