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Oxitec Launches New Scotland R&D Hub to Spearhead a New Global Fight Against Invasive Cattle Ticks

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  • Oxitec has opened a new R&D Hub in Roslin, Scotland, to host a growing team of specialists dedicated to creating a Friendly™ biological solution to the world’s most devastating cattle pest, the Asian blue cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus.
  • Oxitec is collaborating with the globally respected livestock research organisation, the Roslin Institute, located outside of Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • R. microplus spreads deadly cattle diseases, causes billions of dollars of losses to farmers across the world, and is widely resistant to chemical pesticides. It is spreading at an alarming rate through many African countries and is a growing threat to farmer livelihoods worldwide.

ROSLIN, Scotland, Feb. 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Oxitec Ltd, the leading developer of insect-based biological solutions to control pests that transmit disease, destroy crops and harm livestock, today announced the launch of a new R&D hub in Scotland. The facility is housed within the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, which will host the development of a Friendly™ biological solution to the world’s most devastating cattle pest, the Asian blue tick, also known as Rhipicephalus microplus. The Friendly™ R. microplus will be designed to be safe, non-toxic, target-specific, and non-persistent (self-limiting) in the field.

The cattle tick is considered the most important biting parasite of livestock worldwide. It transmits dangerous diseases such as babesiosis and anaplasmosis, and causes significant economic losses to farmers. In Brazil alone, it costs farmers an estimated US$3.2 billion each year. This pest is spreading at an alarming rate through many African countries and is a growing problem worldwide due to its invasiveness and resistance to most pesticides. The impact of cattle tick infestation is especially devastating in low-income countries, where the inability to control the parasite and monitor diseases has a severe impact on livestock economy.

Oxitec is working in partnership with Dr. Tim Connelley at the Roslin Institute, which offers world-class cattle research facilities and decades of experience with tick rearing. Oxitec is expanding its team of in-house specialists in the new Scotland hub, dedicated to developing the world’s first Friendly™ R. microplus solution.

Grey Frandsen, Oxitec’s CEO, said: “The launch of our new R&D center at the Roslin Institute will support the expansion of our Friendly™ technology platform into livestock pest solutions. We’re already well underway towards developing a Friendly™ R. microplus solution, and our team in Scotland includes some of the best minds in science focusing in on this incredibly devastating challenge. By paving the way for the world’s first self-limiting tick, our new Scotland center, embedded with a world-class partner in the Roslin Institute, will lead the way in the development of new biological strategies to protect cattle and farmers’ livelihoods worldwide without the use of chemical pesticides.”

To learn more about Oxitec’s Friendly pest management platform, visit here.

Oxitec welcomes all media inquiries.

About Oxitec

Oxitec is the leading developer of biological solutions to control pests that transmit disease, destroy crops and harm livestock. Founded in 2002 at the University of Oxford, Oxitec is led by a passionate team comprised of 15 nationalities and is supported by world-class public, private and non-profit partners.

Learn more at oxitec.com.

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SOURCE Oxitec

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