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Oxitec appoints new CEO
Company moves towards commercial phase, targeting Asian and American markets

OXFORD, UK, 13 OCTOBER 2008 – Oxitec Ltd, a company dedicated to combating global diseases spread by insects, such as dengue fever and malaria, announced today that it has appointed Hadyn Parry as CEO, effective from 3rd November 2008.

Mr Parry has an extensive background in the Life Science sector. During his fifteen year career at Zeneca/Syngenta he held various positions, including General Manager of Zeneca Plant Sciences and European Director and Global Head of R&D for Advanta, one of the world’s largest seed companies. More recently he was CEO of MNL Pharmaceuticals, a company that was focused on pioneering a novel approach in immunology. Mr Parry is also Chairman of Help For Heroes, a charity that was founded in 2007 to support wounded British soldiers.

Oxitec has developed an innovative technology, employing advances in genetics and molecular biology, to improve on the well-established Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). SIT is used to control insect pests that damage crops. Oxitec’s technology extends the principle of using sterility to suppress insect populations to a far broader range of insect species that threaten public health and agriculture.

The Company was recognised as a Technology Pioneer 2008 by the World Economic Forum. Technology Pioneers 2008 were nominated by the world’s leading technology experts, including venture capitalists, technology companies, academics and media. Oxitec’s potential to improve human health was also recognised by an award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges for Global Health Initiative, as part of a $20 million consortium developing strategies to control disease-carrying mosquitoes.

“Oxitec is a company that could have a dramatic impact on world health, and I am pleased to be joining at a critical point in its development,” said Mr Parry. “The technology has been shown to be both safe and environmentally friendly, and is now ready to be taken to market. The Company has developed male-sterile Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the main insect carrier for dengue fever, with the aim of effectively controlling the disease in many countries. I believe Oxitec has a real chance to produce a breakthrough in reducing the incidence of this damaging disease.” Dengue fever is an emerging disease that affects one hundred million people each year across the world and which is increasing in severity, with over 55% of the world’s population at risk.

Oxitec has already generated product candidates for controlling the spread of dengue fever and the chikungunya virus, and has also developed approaches for management of the agricultural pests the pink bollworm and Mediterranean and Mexican fruit fly.

Dr David Brooks has been Chairman and CEO of Oxitec since 2002. Dr Brooks will now step down as CEO, but will remain as Chairman of Oxitec.

Welcoming Mr Parry’s appointment, Dr Brooks commented: “Oxitec has made great progress with its technology in the six years since start up. We are now moving towards a new and exciting commercial phase, and I believe that Hadyn’s skill set is ideally suited to driving this forward. I look forward to working with him as the Company develops under his leadership.”

- ENDS -

About Oxitec

Oxitec is developing and commercialising an effective and environment-friendly proprietary technology for the control of significant insect pests. Oxitec’s technology has the potential to make a major contribution for both global health and agriculture by combating insects responsible for serious diseases such as dengue fever as well as agricultural damage. The proprietary technology builds on inventions from the University of Oxford and employs genetics and molecular biology to enhance the cost-effectiveness and safety of the existing Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), and to extend SIT to a broader range of insect pests. The Company has generated product candidates for several insect pest control markets, and has advanced its lead candidate to the final testing phase of the development in the US. Based near Oxford, UK, the Company was founded in 2002 and is rapidly developing to become a world-leading provider of insect pest control programmes. Oxitec has received venture capital investment from Oxford Capital Partners, East Hill Management and The University of Oxford.

About Dengue

Dengue is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease of humans that in recent years has become a major international public health concern. Globally, 2.5 billion people live in areas where dengue viruses can be transmitted. The geographical spread of both the mosquito vectors and the viruses has led to the global resurgence of epidemic dengue fever and emergence of dengue hemorrhagic fever (dengue/DHF) in the past 25 years with the development of hyperendemicity in many urban centres of the tropics.

Transmitted by the main vector, the Aedes aegytpi mosquito, there are four distinct, but closely related, viruses that cause dengue. Recovery from infection by one provides lifelong immunity against that serotype but confers only partial and transient protection against subsequent infection by the other three. There is good evidence that sequential infection increases the risk of more serious disease resulting in DHF.

DHF was first recognized in the 1950s during the dengue epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand. By 1970, nine countries had experienced epidemic DHF and now, the number has increased more than fourfold and continues to rise. Today emerging DHF cases are causing increased dengue epidemics in the Americas, and in Asia, where all four dengue viruses are endemic. DHF has become a leading cause of hospitalization and death among children in several countries.


Dr David Brooks
T: + 44 (0)1235 832 393

College Hill
Sue Charles, Katie Odgaard, Rebecca Walker
T: +44 (0)20 7457 2020

Publisher Contact Information:

Oxitec Limited
+ 44 (0)1235 832 393

Company profile of Oxitec Limited
Past press releases of Oxitec Limited.


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