TAKE A GREEN APPROACH TO PEST CONTROL

Pests threaten crops, waterways and living structures. Yet traditional chemical pesticides can have unintended and unforeseen consequences. There is now a better way to secure human interests using naturally occurring microbials that protect without harming people, animals, and the environment. That solution is EcoPesticides. The time for change is now.

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In 1948, the scientist who discovered the insecticide qualities of the chemical DDT was awarded the Nobel Prize. Twenty-four years later, DDT was banned due to its devastating effects on humans and nature. That ban is credited with the resurgence of the bald eagle and peregrine falcons, which were on the brink of extinction. There’s no telling what banning DDT meant for farmers and the population at large.

 The vision of EcoPesticides International is to offer an alternative to harsh chemical pesticides in the form of naturally occurring microorganisms. 

Chemical pesticides are powerful and can have unintended and unforeseen consequences. While they control insects, weeds, and diseases and have significant economic value, their use poses serious threats to people and the environment. Banning pesticides isn’t the answer. The world’s need for consistent crop yields, healthy waterways and living spaces is too great to lose the protection pesticides afford.

The vision of EcoPesticides International is to offer an alternative to harsh chemical pesticides in the form of naturally occurring microorganisms known to be lethal to targeted pests and non-harmful to the environment. Historically, their implementation has been hampered because these living pesticides rapidly degrade when exposed to typical environmental conditions, including UV light, heat and other factors. Using our novel formulation and delivery technologies minimizes the effect of these factors on our active ingredients and enables successful use. For example, we are encapsulating these natural pesticides in a polymer that includes organic dyes to protect against the effects of UV and extend the window of effectiveness so that their ability to control harmful insects is greatly amplified.

Because we think big – and because we believe in our technology – our vision includes extending our natural pesticide technology platform to protect against pests in multi use settings, including crops, waterways and other sensitive environments.

Protect without harm. It’s a vision with tremendous merit. We invite you to learn more.

“The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved.”

Richard Rogers
Our Technolog

The use of naturally occurring organisms as pesticides – referred to as biopesticides or microbial pesticides – has been limited due to their environmental sensitivity, which minimizes their utility and commercial value. EcoPesticides’ technology leverages the effectiveness of microbial pesticides by encapsulating them in biologically derived polymers and organic ingredients, shielding them from the elements while amplifying their ability to control harmful insects.

 EcoPesticides is engaged in active trials of our naturally occurring microbial pesticides in the challenging environment of North Africa. 

Scientists at the University of New Mexico and its Center for Global Health have developed a safe and effective alternative to chemical pesticides that is the technology foundation of EcoPesticides International. The biologically based, non-chemical pesticide technology platform combines two components: naturally occurring fungi that have been “purpose built” to target specific insect species when ingested and robust biopolymer microencapsulation formulas that extend the effectiveness of the microbial pesticides.

The intellectual property encompasses compositions of fungi and bacteria and their use against pest species, manufacturing methodology, and methods of formulation and delivery that ensure high performance.

Microbial pesticides have faced challenges in the move to commercial viability. As living organisms, how they come in contact with their pest targets is critical. Additionally, even though they are isolated from the environment, the environment poses a challenge as UV light, temperature, and humidity affect their activity and can cause them to degrade rapidly and limit effectiveness. EcoPesticides’ encapsulation method serves as a protective cocoon against the elements, while enabling the pesticide to maintain its powerful punch against harmful insects.

Encapsulated microbial pesticides can be applied to fields, rangeland, greenhouses, and other environments using traditional agriculture equipment such as spreaders, sprayers and crop dusters. The method of preparation allows for the addition of amendments such as UV protectants to extend their life and performance.

EcoPesticides is engaged in active trials of our naturally occurring microbial pesticides in the challenging environment of North Africa – high temperatures, intense sun and low humidity – where it is being tested to control grain-eating desert locusts, often the source of crop shortfalls in African countries. Results thus far are promising.

EcoPesticides plans to leverage our green pesticide technology platform to a broad spectrum of specific insects that threaten the world’s croplands and waterways, as well as invasive weeds that alter waterways. The company also is looking to license complementary technology to create a portfolio on environmentally friendly commercially suitable pesticides.

If you’d like to learn more of our progress or discuss how you can potentially utilize our microbial pesticide technology, contact us now.

locustcocroachMigratory locusts… Mormon crickets… rangeland grasshoppers… red palm and boll weevils… cutworms… aphids… cockroaches… termites… the list of insect threats is endless. Broad-spectrum chemical pesticides aren’t the answer; the toxic threat to other organisms is too high. EcoPesticides’ encapsulated microbial pesticides are carefully targeted at specific insects, with no damage to the environment at large. Problem solved.

The current crop protection market is $50 billion worldwide. Currently, the microbial pesticide market is $2 billion and is estimated to double by 2017. By 2020, the market could reach $5 billion. There is considerable room for microbial pesticides to gain traction in the market and assume greater market share.

 The opportunity represented by EcoPesticides and our “green” pesticide technology platform is globally significant. 

There are many cases where the world wasn’t ready for the next big idea. This isn’t one of them.

Government, corporations, farmers, investors, and private citizens are more than willing to embrace non-toxic, natural, high-performing pesticide solutions like that of EcoPesticides. Who can argue with alternative technology that stops destructive pests, but is harmless to everything else such as beneficial insects like bees, people, pets and other animals, water, soil, and air.

The opportunity represented by EcoPesticides and our “green” pesticide technology platform is globally significant. The data from our current trials using encapsulated naturally occurring fungi to control desert locusts in Tunisia is positive, providing a solid base from which to expand our approach and pesticide portfolio. Additionally, we seek to enhance our position in the growing microbial pesticide market by developing a portfolio of fungi-based products for crop protection and potentially licensing related eco-friendly pesticide products from the USDA.

Ideal strategic partners are:

  • Agribusiness companies with an interest or current position in biologic pesticides
  • Governmental or private research organizations focused on alternative pesticides
  • Foreign governments seeking new ways to promote agricultural and environmental interests
  • Investors who can assist with accelerating our progress

If you are interested in becoming an active partner with EcoPesticides International, we encourage you to contact us to discuss partnership opportunities in more detail.

“Rarely is the world market clamoring for a solution as it is for alternatives to chemical pesticides. It is in the world’s best interest to develop sustainable, naturally occurring pesticides that can effectively protect croplands, forests and the environment with no residual harm. EcoPesticides is on the fast track.”

Les Stewart, CEO & President, EcoPesticides International

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

 EcoPesticides is building upon the support of the Gates Foundation through its Grand Challenges Explorations initiative, through awards and relationships with other businesses and organizations that recognize the potential of its technology. 

gates-foundation

In October 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recognized something special in the technology developed at the University of New Mexico by Dr. Ravi Durvasula and Adam Forshaw, and MD/PhD student. So special, in fact, that the Gates Foundation presented a Phase 1 Grand Challenge Explorations Grant to support the proposed project. A Novel Microencapsulation Technique to Target Desert Locust. Specifically, the grant was awarded to the Biomedical Research Institute of New Mexico, with which Dr. Durvasula is affiliated, and used to establish a locust control trial in Africa of the naturally occurring, encapsulated microbial pesticide.

The financial support from Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative of the Gates Foundation, has been critical to advancing this potentially transformational pesticide, now under license to EcoPesticides International. Yet equally important was the vote of confidence in the technology and value it may deliver to the world.

EcoPesticides is building upon this early support. The company received an award from the New Mexico Small Business Research Assistance Program to expand its research efforts. We are also establishing relationships with the USDA, corporations, and others who recognize the value of the technology and potential worldwide demand.

Call it a convergence of a big idea, advanced science, entrepreneurism and market need.

 We have the vision, technology, support, and the people to propel a new generation of environmentally friendly pesticides. 

Or just call it a group of concerned people who believe there’s a better way to protect the earth’s finite resources and ensure a safe, stable food supply and a healthy environment without toxic chemicals.

In 2012, we created EcoPesticides International, Inc., as a New Mexico Startup Factory company that is today leveraging groundbreaking “green” pesticide technology developed at the University of New Mexico. Specifically, we’re focused on perfecting our biologically based pesticide technology platform with the intent of solving a broad spectrum of the world’s most challenging pest-related problems in an environmentally friendly way. We’re talking pests that destroy crops, invade water supplies and threaten homes.

It’s a tall order. But we have the vision, technology, support, and the people to propel a new generation of environmentally friendly pesticides through the commercialization process and into global markets. Meet the people who are making it happen.


Leadership Team


Les Stewart

Les Stewart
President & CEO

Les Stewart has more than 20 years of experience in biotechnology and drug delivery leadership positions with such companies as C.R. Bard and Bayer Healthcare.

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Adam Forshaw

Adam Forshaw
Inventor & Chief Technology Officer

Adam Forshaw is the co-inventor of EcoPesticides’ encapsulation technology, leveraging his expertise in the areas of microencapsulation and biopolymer manipulations.

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Ravi V. Durvasula, MD

Ravi V. Durvasula, MD
Inventor & Chief Science Officer

Dr. Ravi Durvasula is the co-inventor of EcoPesticide’s encapsulation technology and a pioneer in the development of novel approaches to control infectious disease transmission, including the use of paratransgenesis.

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Katherine Rodgers

Katherine Rodgers
Biological Technologist

Katherine Rodgers has nearly 25 years of experience in laboratory technology, including microbiology and analytical chemistry.

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Board of Directors


John Chavez, Board Chair

John Chavez, Board Chair
President, New Mexico Angels
Managing Director, Phase One Ventures

John Chavez is president of and active investor in the New Mexico Angels. Under his leadership, the New Mexico Angels have increased investment in new companies by 100 percent.

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David W. Miller, PhD

David W. Miller, PhD
Board Member

David Miller is vice president, business development for Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company focused on the discovery and development of treatments for genetic-based diseases

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Dorian Rader

Dorian Rader

Dorian McKenzie has lived in the world of startups since launching her own company at age 21. Since then she has launched six high-tech companies, including EcoPesticides International.

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Battling the Plague with KRQE

Continued


UNM’s Investment in EcoPesticides Is an Investment in New Mexico

Earlier this week, we were pleased to announce that the University of New Mexico, through its STC.UNM Co-Investment Fund, has invested $89,000 in EcoPesticides. This is great news for a startup company like ours, but for a startup company in New Mexico, it’s even better news.


WWBD?

We’ve been thinking about getting the EcoPesticides R&D team yellow bracelet with the letters “WWBD.” (What Would Bill Do?) There’s a good reason for this. In early November, EcoPesticides submitted a Phase 2 grant proposal to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We’re seeking $1 million to advance our “green” biopesticide encapsulation technology, and hope the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation shares our vision to make a positive impact on the livelihoods of subsistence farmers and the food security of millions living in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.


What We’re Cooking This Thanksgiving

Startup companies operate on a very human scale – no matter how disruptive and potentially transformative the technology. Case in point. While most of the country is busy cooking Thanksgiving turkeys, pumpkin pies and sides, EcoPesticides is in our lab at the #SantaFeIncubator cooking up the perfect batch of fungi.


The Very Hungry Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers – and their cousins the desert locusts – do tremendous damage to grain crops like wheat and corn as well as to rangeland grasses used to feed livestock. They can literally devour everything in sight as shown in these photos taken in our hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico this summer. At the time, Albuquerque was experiencing the worst infestation of grasshoppers in 20 years. They were so thick, they were detected on weather radar.


We’re off to West Texas

The life of a startup company entails pushing a big rock up a hill, or to put it another way, raising capital. Quite frankly, it’s a full time job as #EcoPesticides needs capital to advance our biologic pesticide and encapsulation technologies.


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