This month, our question-and-answer session features Andy Bywater, head of marketing for Pest Management at Syngenta. He is Syngenta’s corporate liaison for the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC). IVCC partners with academia, industry, funders and malaria control programs worldwide to address mosquito control and public health.
1.What is Syngenta’s position on the state of mosquito-borne disease prevention, both worldwide and even here in the U.S.?
Recent years have seen a focus on malaria vector control in Africa, and this has played a big part in the number of annual deaths from malaria declining — from 1 million in 2006 to a little more than 400,000 in 2016. However, the recent outbreaks of Zika and dengue show that we must prepare for emerging vector-borne diseases globally. That means not only having the correct tools, but also the infrastructure and funding to deliver effective mosquito control. A key part of the success in reducing malaria transmission is the alignment of funding agencies, governments and those implementing vector control programs to a common goal: disease eradication. It’s an objective that is ongoing.
2. How did Syngenta become involved with IVCC?
Given our long experience with the vector control market, Syngenta was aware that in 2005, IVCC was being established by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help the industry develop novel solutions to help overcome the challenge of insecticide resistance in malaria mosquito control. Syngenta submitted a proposal to develop a new formulation to address such a challenge. By 2007, the proposal was accepted, and this was the start of the collaboration that resulted in the delivery of Actellic 300CS insecticide, which is currently registered outside of the United States for use in nearly 20 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated to have protected almost 20 million people from malaria in 2016.
3. Where do you see the collaboration headed in 2017 and beyond?
Syngenta is constantly looking at how we can improve mosquito control, through the development of new active ingredients or by making current tools more efficient. Our stance is that for mosquito control to be truly sustainable and enable resistance management, new active ingredients will be required.
4. Any new developments you can tell us about?
We are collaborating with IVCC to work to deliver a new active ingredient specifically for mosquito vector control. This has never been done before, as the market for mosquito control is relatively small compared with the large costs of new active ingredient development. Although we are still in the research phase, we have discovered an exciting pipeline of new chemistry with the potential for use not only for mosquito control, but also in the broader pest management industry.
5. How can our readers get involved in IVCC’s efforts?
The organization is fully funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the UK Department for International Development, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and UNITAID. However, spreading the word about its programs and goals is always appreciated. There is a wealth of information online at IVCC.com.
Editor Heather Gooch can be reached at email@example.com or 330-321-9754.