The proof-of-concept project aims to design a microbial biopesticide providing an alternative to synthetic chemicals currently used to control pest populations
SACKVILLE, NB and MONCTON, NB, Nov. 9, 2021 /CNW/ - Mount Allison University's Dr. Vett Lloyd of the Biology Department and head of the Lloyd Tick Lab, and Soricimed Biopharma Inc. (Soricimed) are collaborating to design a species-specific, microbial biopesticide for agriculture and aquaculture applications. This project started in September 2021 and is looking at the potential of BioSoricide, an application derived from Soricimed's proprietary development assets.
In preliminary studies, BioSoricide has shown the potential to immobilize agriculture and aquaculture pests. This novel approach to pest control would provide an alternative to synthetic chemicals currently used against insects on farms and to protect salmon farms from sea lice.
"There are many downsides with current chemical pest control treatments of food crops and fish farms. With many of these insects rapidly becoming resistant to chemical solutions, the pesticides now being deployed are quite powerful, which is increasingly problematic to ecology and humans," said Dr. Vett Lloyd, Professor in the Department of Biology at Mount Allison University. "This development project with Soricimed is looking to find a much-needed new, safer approach that would control pest populations on land and in the sea, and greatly assist these economic sectors while reducing the environmental impact of traditional pesticides."
BioSoricide builds on the acceptance of this mode of pest control by augmenting the activity of the naturally occurring viral pesticides. The project is designed as a proof-of-concept and, as such, is adaptable to licensee requirements with respect to the target pest, whether in agriculture or aquaculture.
"We're thrilled to be collaborating with Mount Allison University again and using our proprietary platform technology to advance the development of an alternative to traditional pesticides," said Robert Bruce, CEO of Soricimed Biopharma Inc. "We take pride in our company helping to solve problems faced by these vital food sectors. It's truly amazing how our patented technology is being used across broader sectors and we expect to see more applications in the future."
Third-party funding for this development project has been provided through the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation's Innovation Voucher Fund (IVF).
"Our IVF is uniquely suited to help provide companies like Soricimed Biopharma, with the resources needed to test new ideas and opportunities for existing IP. Considering insect pests in agriculture are becoming a more pressing problem because the traditional paradigm of chemical poisoning of pests is losing its power, this IVF was a no-brainer for us," says Daniel Hoyles, Investment Associate with NBIF. "A new platform technology that will enable the design of species-specific, microbial biopesticide design for agriculture and aquaculture pests will significantly impact our New Brunswick farming community."
About Mount Allison University
Mount Allison University is regarded as one of the best undergraduate universities in Canada. With degrees in Arts, Science, Commerce, Fine Arts, and Music, the University provides a flexible liberal arts and science education that prepares students for any career path. Mount Allison prides itself on providing a high-quality academic experience, combined with a variety of hands-on learning opportunities in a close-knit community. Students come from more than 50 countries around the world to make up a diverse, creative, and talented student body of approximately 2,300 students.
About Soricimed Biopharma Inc.
Soricimed is a privately-held clinical stage company focused primarily on the development of targeted, first-in-class cancer treatments. Soricimed was established following the discovery of a unique and proprietary family of paralytic and anti-cancer peptides. The company is committed to translating this discovery into novel therapies that deliver powerful treatment options for those living with often devastating conditions.
Soricimed's clinical stage oncology drug candidate, SOR-C13, a targeted anti-cancer peptide, has been granted orphan drug status for the treatment of pancreatic and ovarian cancers by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition, a portfolio of targeted Peptide-drug Conjugates ("PDCs") and Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapies (PRRTs) are in various stages of pre-clinical development. For more information, visit www.soricimed.com.
SOURCE Mount Allison University
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