Mozzie-killer BioGene Technology — which floated on the ASX in November — says its new insecticide formula killed the annoying bugs faster than other commercial products in a recent test.

Insecticides using BioGene’s “Flavocide” ingredient were “more rapidly toxic to mosquitos than commercial products, at the test doses used in the study,” said entomology professor Catherine Hill, who is leading Bio-Gene’s tests at Purdue University in the US State of Indiana.

“While we need to undertake more extensive dose-range finding studies, the observed rapid activity was unexpected,” the professor said.

The ingredient could provide “a significant point of difference and create a number of opportunities” either alone or in combination with other insecticides, she said.

Bio-Gene (ASX:BGT) raised $7.1 million last year to develop anti-resistance pesticides, promising those who bought into the float an option to buy shares at 20c for every five they held at a certain date.

The shares closed their first day at 20.5c — and have stayed around that point ever since.

Bio-Gene's (ASX:BGT) shares since floating in November.
Bio-Gene’s (ASX:BGT) shares since floating in November.

Bio-Gene is developing two products targeted at different segments of the insecticide market: Flavocide and Qcide.

Flavocide is a chemically synthesised product based on a molecule found in Australian eucalypt, the Gympie Messmate. Qcide is designed as an organic product incorporating oil extracted from the same tree.

Bio-Gene’s chief executive Richard Jagger told investors the latest Flavocide pilot study “achieved the goals we were aiming for and allows us to refine a range of second round testing to further identify where this molecule may be of commercial significance in the field of mosquito control”.

Mosquito bites kill more than a million people each year, “acting as vectors for many serious diseases”, Bio-Gene says.

Bio-Gene — which currently has has no sales revenue — burned about $1.3 million in the December quarter, leaving $7.7 million in the bank.

It expects to spend $723,000 this quarter.