Nov 28, 2018IRAC approves mode of action for Vestaron’s SPEAR bioinsecticide
The Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Vestaron is a bioinsecticides company initially focused on a class of peptides that kills insect pests efficiently, but is safe for humans, birds, fish and the environment.
“As of today, there are only thirteen nerve and muscular modes of action in all of insecticidal chemistry, so, particularly as a small company, we are pleased and honored to be bringing the fourteenth to market,” said Bob Kennedy, Vestaron’s Chief Science Officer. “This novel code confirms that SPEAR targets the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and does so in a different way from any existing class of insecticides.”
Vestaron is developing the SPEAR peptide into a family of insecticidal products. The first was SPEAR-T, which was launched in July of 2018, and targets all four major greenhouse pests – thrips, whiteflies, aphids and mites. The second, SPEAR-Lep, targets lepidopteran pests for fruits, vegetables, nuts and other high-value field crops. SPEAR-Lep received EPA approval in September of 2018 and has now been approved in more than twenty states. Additional field products targeting other classes of insect will follow.
“We consider this a significant validation of our scientific approach,” said Anna Rath, Vestaron’s new Chief Executive Officer. “The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is one of the most important in all of insecticidal chemistry – accounting for nearly 30 percent of the total insecticide market. We believe that our proprietary platform and approach will generate peptide-based bioinsecticides that will provide novel modes of action against most of the known major insecticide targets, and our peptides are safe for the environment and for beneficial insects.”