Oxitec announced this month that it is collaborating with Gangabishan Bhikulal Investment and Trading Limited (GBIT) to bring Oxitec’s RIDL® technology to India to help combat Aedes aegypti, the mosquito vector for the viral diseases dengue and chikungunya.
Under this collaboration GBIT will develop, produce and market the RIDL technology in India. Mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent in India with dengue, chikungunya and malaria all causing serious illness and death within the population. Oxitec’s RIDL technology is designed to combat the disease carrying mosquito in a way that is not only effective but also safe and has no lasting effect on the environment.
GBIT is a privately held Indian company that specialises in developing and commercialising novel technologies in health and agriculture in the Indian subcontinent. GBIT has created several successful organisations such as India’s foremost agricultural seed company, Mahyco, the John Fowler Company and Sungro Seeds. Its founder and Chairman, Dr BR Barwale, is a World Food Prize laureate and in 2001 he received the Padma Bhushan Award from the Government of India for his distinguished services of high order in the field of agricultural development, trade and economic activity. Dr Barwale has also established the Barwale Foundation in India whose mission is to promote research, technology and knowledge in agriculture, health care and education for human welfare.
GBIT and Oxitec will work with local experts and regulators to evaluate RIDL for dengue in India. Speaking on this partnership, Shirish Barwale, Director, GBIT said that, “We are delighted to be partnering with Oxitec, a highly innovative company, recognised globally for its RIDL platform, to address the growing need for effective control of dengue and chikungunya in our country. There has been a huge gap in the availability of effective tools to control mosquito-related diseases, which are rampant in India. Oxitec’s RIDL platform gives us a powerful weapon in our fight against these diseases.”