OXFORD, England, Nov. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Oxitec, the leading developer of biological solutions to control pests, announced today the landmark commercial launch of its Friendly™ Aedes aegypti solution designed specifically for use by homeowners, businesses, and communities to control the dengue-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito. This launch represents the first time globally that the benefits of using biologically engineered mosquito control technology that can be purchased directly by consumers.
Having received full biosafety commercial approval in 2020 from the Brazilian government’s biosafety authority, CTNBio, the company is making its just-add-water solution available for delivery directly to customers’ doorsteps starting in the State of São Paulo. Available for purchase online, the product comprises durable outer boxes and Friendly™ male mosquito egg refill packs.
Once delivered, customers need only to add water to the Friendly™ box, place it in a garden, patio, or around a home or business, and the boxes will produce Oxitec’s non-biting male mosquitoes over time, which disperse to find and mate with invasive, biting Aedes aegypti females. Their female offspring cannot survive, which means fewer biting female mosquitoes in the following generations. While the Friendly™ Aedes aegypti males pursue and mate with female Aedes aegypti, customers need only reactivate the easy-to-use box once per month. This technology controls the pest without harming beneficial species like bees and butterflies and does not persist in the environment.
Committed to making its ground-breaking sustainable solutions accessible to everyone, Oxitec has developed a direct-to-customer model, making the company the first vertically integrated biotechnology company delivering pest control solutions directly to end-users. This allows Oxitec to build strong, lasting relationships with customers, manage rapid fulfilment and product support, and continually innovate on product features that matter most to customers.
After launching in São Paulo, Oxitec will scale production and expand availability to other states nationally.
Grey Frandsen, CEO of Oxitec, commented:
“For the first time ever, we’ve placed the power of Friendly™ biology into a small, joyful box, giving everyone – homeowners, small businesses, large employers, and communities – the ability to control the dengue-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito without chemical pesticides. And it’s more critical than ever. We believe that addressing the growing threat of mosquitoes in the coming decades requires a complete re-write of the rules. We’re driven by the belief that the fight will be won not with more chemical pesticides, but by making a new generation of safe, environmentally friendly products accessible to everyone, when and where they’re needed, while creating a joyful, meaningful experience every step of the way. In other words, it’s time to give power to the people to act against this growing public health threat with safe, effective products they will love to use. We’re proud to be the leader in doing so.”
Kelly Matzen, CTO of Oxitec, commented:
“This landmark day was made possible by the passion and hard work of hundreds of scientists, engineers, public health experts, dozens of public and non-profit organizations, major universities, global foundations, local governments and communities, all of whom have contributed to placing the power of Oxitec’s Friendly™ Aedes aegypti into this little box. Every box represents deep commitment and the pursuit of excellence by so many, and now it’s ready for everyone, which is so meaningful to all of us.”
Natalia Ferreira, Managing Director of Oxitec do Brazil, commented:
“This is a remarkable moment for us. Oxitec has served a number of communities throughout Brazil over the last decade and we’ve demonstrated time and again that our technology is highly effective, safe, and incredibly popular. Now we’re making Friendly™ Aedes aegypti available to anyone who wants to use it, at any time, and that means that we can touch more lives. Brazilians have been suffering for too long from the impact this dengue mosquito has on our lives, and our team is committed to scaling-up as quickly as we can to serve as many people as we can. It is truly the beginning of a new era in Brazil, and people will now have the tools they need to control Aedes aegypti safely.”
This launch comes on the heels of the successful launch of the Friendly™ Aedes aegypti pilot project in the Florida Keys, USA, in April; the announcement of a new partnership with the Wellcome Trust to scale-up the use of Oxitec’s Friendly™ Aedes aegypti in Indaiatuba, Brazil; and the deregulation of Oxitec’s Friendly™ fall armyworm by Brazil’s biosafety regulator, CTNBio, in March of this year.
Oxitec is the leading developer of biological solutions to control pests that transmit disease, destroy crops and harm livestock. Founded in 2002 at the University of Oxford, Oxitec is led by a passionate team comprised of 15 nationalities and is supported by world-class partners. Learn more at oxitec.com.
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