Insecticide maker Bio-Gene (ASX:BGT) says a trial is proving one of its products is lethal against a particularly difficult to kill mosquito.

The Anopheles gambiae mosquito carries malaria and is increasingly resistant to more commonly used insecticides.

A study at Purdue University in the US found that Bio-Gene’s eucalyptus-derived insecticide is effective against this particular bug.

That news sent shares up over 36 per cent this morning to an intra-day high of 32c.


The product is based on a compound found in Australian eucalypts and works when mosquitos land on sprayed surfaces and touch it with their feet, or via contact with their bodies.

Tarsal, or foot, studies identify compounds that may be useful in treated bed nets and indoor sprays.

Bio-Gene is making a next-generation of novel insecticides to address insecticide resistance and toxicity, using a naturally occurring class of chemicals known as beta-triketones.

“Combined with previous trial work, the company has now demonstrated Flavocide activity against resistant populations of the major mosquito species that carry diseases of such global importance as Malaria, Zika virus, and Dengue fever,” CEO Richard Jagger said.

The professor who led the research, Catherine Hill, says vector-borne disease — or illnesses spread by agents like ticks, mosquitos or fleas — is a growing problem due to increasing insecticide resistance, population growth, urbanisation, travel, and climate change.

More than half of the world’s population is at risk from vector-borne diseases, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

There are more than 200 million cases of malaria every year, and of these around 400,000 people die, most of them are children under the age of five; Zika virus has been declared a global health emergency; and death due to Dengue fever has increased 30 times in the last 50 years.

Collectively these diseases killed 700,000 people in 2017, according to the WHO.


In other ASX health news:

From the company that brought us diet pasta, low calorie sugar, and low fat chips, now comes a patent to get cannabidiol and cumin into your bloodstream faster. Holista Colltech (ASX:HCT) has patented a platform that it says makes fat soluble molecules, such as CBD, curcumin Vitamin D, soluble in water and therefore better able to dissolve and be taken into the human body. The company says this will allow dosages to be lower, as less of the substance will need to be taken to get the same effect.

Eye laser maker Ellex (ASX:ELX) will remain suspended until January 15, 2020, as it continues negotiations to sell its flagging lasers and ultrasound business segment. An unsolicited non-binding conditional offer was announced to the market on November 28.

A delay in sunscreen sales means AstiVita’s (ASX:AIR) year-to-date loss is higher than last year’s. Sales are now not expected to start until February 2020 and a number of new products that failed to meet expectations had to be liquidated at a loss. The estimated half year loss is $646,000 to $696,000.

Medlab Clinical (ASX:MDC) has signed an exclusive distribution agreement for the UK with Cultech, covering probiotec ORSBiotic and a magnesium and CBD product called NanoCBD. The deal pays 20 per cent royalties and both products are expected to be online within the next three months.