11 September 2017 – Evolva announced today that it has finalized negotiations for a contract with the US government. The key objective of this contract is to advance the development of safe, effective, and sustainably sourced next-generation products that can provide a new form of protection against select mosquito-borne diseases like Zika.
Nootkatone can be extracted in minute quantities from the skin of grapefruit or the bark of the Alaska yellow cedar (also known as the Nootka cypress), or produced in a sustainable, industrial scale process via yeast fermentation that provides a reliable, safe supply.
This CDC-funded contract is worth $8.35 million to Evolva, will run for 18 months, and will begin immediately.
Evolva has been working in close collaboration with the CDC on the use of nootkatone against a wide variety of biting pests, such as mosquitoes and ticks that can cause disease. The goal is that nootkatone can one day be used not just against the Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits Zika virus, but also for the benefit of global public health against other important biting pests, such as Ixodes tick vectors of Lyme disease and the mosquitoes that spread West Nile and other viruses.
This contract supports Evolva’s strategy to advance to the market safe, effective, sustainably produced, next-generation products hat offer the potential for meaningful new protection from biting pests.
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Nootkatone is a citrus ingredient that is characteristically associated with grapefruit. It can be extracted in minute quantities from the skin of grapefruit or the bark of the Alaska yellow cedar (also known as the Nootka cypress), or produced on an industrial scale from brewing via yeast fermentation. Nootkatone is being tested against a variety of biting and nuisance pests, including the ticks that are responsible for spreading Lyme disease and the mosquitoes contributing to the spread of diseases such as Zika, chikungunya, dengue and West Nile viruses.
About Evolva’s collaboration with CDC and BARDA
This project has been funded in whole with Federal funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and managed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), under Contract No. HHSO100201700015C.
About Lyme disease and Zika virus
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Ae. albopictus species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Because the symptoms of Zika are similar to those of many other diseases, many cases may not have been recognised.