Pluton Biosciences, Evolugate enter license agreement to advance bacteria strains for biopesticide

May 17, 2020 |

In Missouri, Pluton Biosciences, LLC entered into an exclusive license agreement with biotechnology company Evolugate of Gainesville, FL to optimize its mosquito biopesticide discovery for commercial use in the vector control industry.

Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, Pluton Biosciences discovers new beneficial microbes in the soil for use in sustainable, natural products. Pluton used its high-throughput microbial discovery platform called Micromining to discover 10 new strains of bacteria with insecticidal properties. Some of these strains are especially effective against mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry several deadly infectious diseases, including Malaria, Zika, Dengue, West Nile and Yellow Fever. The sheer number of diseases that mosquitoes can spread, combined with their widespread distribution, make mosquitoes one of the deadliest animals on earth.

“Even now with COVID-19, control of mosquito populations remains a priority for human health,” said Pluton CEO Charlie Walch. “Through our development partnership with Evolugate, we can develop a new multi-strain natural larvicide to treat standing water sources where mosquitoes breed – killing the larvae before they have a chance to grow to adulthood. Pluton’s goal is to help pesticide makers replace synthetic chemicals with safe, effective natural products. We see this larvicide as the first of many microbial-based products we will discover for the market through Micromining.”

Under the exclusive agreement, Evolugate will identify the most effective combination of Pluton’s parent strains, then use its proprietary Evolugator™ evolution technology to apply the maximum selective pressure needed to push these organisms to commercial efficacy. The commercial-ready bacteria can then be licensed to companies for the development of natural insecticides.

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