Vestaron Corporation announced today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the active ingredient in the company’s breakthrough bioinsecticide for commercial sale. The insecticide, a naturally occurring peptide isolated from spiders, is approved for use on a wide variety of crops and has shown no toxicity to fish, birds or mammals, including humans.
“This is a game-changer for agriculture,” said Dr. John Sorenson, Chief Executive Officer of Vestaron. “Our bioinsecticide is safe for humans, safe for non-target animals and plants, and better for the environment.”
“For years, scientists have argued that the most effective way to manage the development of resistance in insect pests is to combine separate active ingredients into a single insecticide,” said Dr. Robert Kennedy, Chief Scientific Officer of Vestaron. “Our peptide uniquely provides novel and complex modes of action in one molecule—a real breakthrough.”
EPA registration marks a key milestone in bringing Vestaron’s technology to the market, following the successful scaling of production and the development of an effective oral formulation. The insecticide will be in pre-commercial demonstration trials in 2014, with a full commercial launch in early 2015, Sorenson said.
“This biopesticide is one of a vast number of similar compounds that exist in nature, from which we intend to source many new, unique insect control products,” said Sorenson. “In addition, Vestaron is incorporating the gene for this peptide into a new generation of insect-resistant plants. We’re also synthesizing compounds that mimic the peptide’s action.”
“I couldn’t be more excited about Vestaron’s potential or more proud of our outstanding team,” Sorenson added. “With three strong technology platforms and countless peptides to choose from, Vestaron has a very robust product pipeline for many years to come.”
Founded in 2005, Vestaron is a venture-funded start-up based in Kalamazoo, Mich. For more information visit www.vestaron.com.