OXFORD, UK – November 21, 2016 – Oxitec announced today the Board of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) voted to approve the investigational agreement for use of self-limiting Friendly™ mosquitoes in an effectiveness trial to fight against Aedes aegypti, the primary vector for many dangerous viruses including Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. This decision follows the November 8th approval vote by residents in Monroe County, clearly voicing their support for new solutions like Oxitec’s in combatting this invasive, disease-carrying mosquito.
“Oxitec commends the Board of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District in this important decision, and we remain very committed to assisting the Florida Keys in their vector control efforts,” said Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry. “Our solution has repeatedly shown it has significant potential to play a meaningful role in controlling invasive populations of Aedes aegypti. We look forward to working with the Board given the urgent need for better approaches against this harmful vector.”
The purpose of the Monroe County trial is to determine the efficacy of Oxitec's self-limiting mosquitoes for controlling the local population of Aedes aegypti. FKMCD and Oxitec are now working together to select a site for an investigational trial in Monroe County.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) previously published a final finding of no significant impact (FONSI) on human health, animal health or the environment based on an environmental assessment of Oxitec's self-limiting OX513A mosquito.
The FDA review team consisted of experts from the Center for Veterinary Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The FDA led an extensive review of evidence from trials of Oxitec’s technology performed in urban environments since 2009, and data from numerous safety and efficacy studies, site inspections and independent experts.
Oxitec’s technology represents a paradigm shift in mosquito control with unparalleled results. In conjunction with independent collaborators, Oxitec has conducted five open field trials of its self-limiting mosquitoes in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands. Each trial led to a greater than 90% reduction of the wild Aedes aegypti population, a level of suppression far in excess of conventional approaches.
This innovative solution is currently being deployed in Piracicaba, Brazil and the Cayman Islands. Notably the public support for these projects has been strong in these areas. Surveys conducted in mid-2016 show that 69% of the residents of Grand Cayman and 88% of Piracicaba’s citizens support the use of Oxitec’s solution.
Oxitec is a pioneer in using genetic engineering to control insect pests that spread disease and damage crops, and was founded in 2002 as a spinout from Oxford University (UK). Oxitec is a subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), which engineers biology to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems. Follow us on Twitter at @Oxitec.
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