Oxitec Ltd, an Oxford, UK-based company developing a new approach to combating dengue fever, has secured £8m in new funding.
The round was led by Oxford Capital, with participation from new investors, which include Asia Pacific Capital, from many of the regions affected by dengue fever and other insect-borne diseases, such as the USA, Argentina, Brazil and South East Asia.
The company intends to use the capital for further trials of its Oxitec Control Programme, designed to reduce populations of the dengue mosquito in communities hardest hit by the disease.
Dengue fever, which at conservative estimate infects 50 million people a year, is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and represents a growing global problem with reported cases of the disease growing 30 fold in the last 50 years.
Led by CEO Hadyn Parry, Oxitec leverages advanced genetics to create ‘sterile’ male insects. The company’s technology extends the principle of using sterility to suppress insect populations to a far broader range of insect species that threaten both public health and agriculture and also overcomes cost efficacy hurdles.