Oxitec (originally Oxford Insect Technologies) is a US-owned, UK-based biotechnology company that develops genetically modified insects to assist in insect control. The genetically modified populations act as a "living insecticide". Destructive insects are controlled without the use of insecticides that may inflict unwanted side effects. The company claims that its method of population control is more effective than insecticides and more environmentally friendly.
|Founded||Oxford, United Kingdom (2002 )|
Oxitec was founded in 2002 by Luke Alphey and David Kelly working with Oxford University's Isis Innovation technology transfer company. In August 2015 Oxitec was purchased by U.S.-based Intrexon in a deal valued at $160 million. Oxitec was purchased by US-based Third Security in early 2020.
The OX5034 generation of Oxitec's self-limiting mosquito technology began field trials on May 23, 2018 in Indaiatuba, a municipality in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. The trial was to cover 2,000 residents to suppress A. aegypti mosquitos.. The company announced the trial's results in June, 2019.
OX5034 male offspring survive, allowing additional mating cycles that further reduce the pest population. This function is time-limited. In subsequent generations fewer and fewer males pass on their self-limiting genes. OX5034 males were expected to disappear from the environment 10 generations after releases stop.
CEO Grey Frandsen was appointed in 2017. He is an American who led start-up initiatives in the U.S. government and the private and non-profit sectors on matters relating to national and global public health security, biotechnology and crisis response. Frandsen led the company's transition to its 2nd generation technology while expanding its programs to advance its mosquito and agricultural technologies.
Frandsen was named one of Malaria No More's 10-to-End innovators in 2019. Frandsen is the chairman of the board of directors for Pilgrim Africa, an NGO implementing malaria control programs in Uganda funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Fund and private donors.
Transgenic yellow fever mosquitoEdit
Oxitec developed a genetically modified version of Aedes aegypti to help control the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases. Oxitec created genetically-altered males of the species (OX513A) that produce the protein tTA, which negatively affects cell development. While it was presented as a sterile insect technique in a publication by Oxitec, this was disputed.  One published study, successfully challenged by Oxitec and even some of the study's co-authors and now marked with an Editorial Expression of Concern stated that it found that the transgenic mosquitoes had successfully hybridized with the local Aedes aegypti population. In 2017 Oxitec started to develop a genetically modified version of the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus.
This section may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience.April 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)(
First field trials were performed on Grand Cayman, the largest island of the Cayman Islands starting in 2009. Approximately 3.3 million of the transgenic male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were released. The experiments demonstrated that the animals were able to survive in this environment and produce offspring. Some eleven weeks after the release, a decline in the A. aegypti mosquito population by about 80% was observed. Larger-scale releases could result in higher reductions. The tests were deemed a success by scientists but criticism emerged over communication policy. In May 2016 Grand Cayman announced a program to use Oxitec mosquitoes to combat the virus. The first phase informed the community about the programme. The next phase treated an area with about 1,800 residents in West Bay and 88% fewer Aedes aegypti mosquito eggs were found compared to an equivalent untreated area.
In 2011 another field test took place in Brazil in cooperation with the company Moscamed and the University of São Paulo, in which transgenic A. aegypti mosquitoes were released in large numbers and the mosquito population declined by 80–95%. More field trials were carried out in Malaysia and Panama. Another field trial was planned in Florida in 2016, but was cancelled. In 2016 the World Health Organization encouraged field trials of transgenic male A. aegypti mosquitoes to try to halt the spread of the Zika virus.
In November 2018, the Cayman Islands government elected to cease any new field trial agreements with Oxitec, citing cost-benefit concerns with the technologies as the primary concern.  Health Minister Dwayne Seymour and other legislators expressed skepticism on-the-record about the trials' effectiveness. However, Oxitec and the Mosquito Research and Control Unit of the Cayman Islands continue to analyze the data collected over the 10 year project. The details of the latest 2018 trial were due to be finished by the second quarter of 2019. 
A 2019 study found that the Oxitec mosquitoes released around the city of Jacobina, Brazil had [clarification needed] and that genes that are characteristic of the source population of the altered males had entered the wild population in Brazil. The engineered genes for antibiotic dependence were not found in the wild population. Some 450,000 males were released every week for 27 months. Wild populations were studied before the program began and again at intervals of 6, 12 and 27 to 30 months afterwards. After investigation, the publisher issued an Editorial Expression of Concern for this article, outlining four major concerns which corresponded to Oxitec's statement at the time of publishing. It was also found that some of the authors indicated that they had not approved the final version that was submitted for publication.
Also in critical response to the paper, entomologist Jason Rasgon of Pennsylvania State University, was reported as saying that the genetic finding from the study was important but that some things in the paper were over-hyped and irresponsible. Oxitec put out a statement responding to the paper, citing concern with the paper's "misleading and speculative statements". The company's statement included rebuttals directed against some of these statements; all of these were confirmed by Scientific Reports and Nature Magazine in March 2020 in their Editorial Expression of Concern. 
Brazil’s health-regulatory agency, Anvisa, declared on 12 April 2016 that it would regulate Oxitec’s mosquitoes. Anvisa announced that it was creating a legal framework for regulations. It requested Oxitec to demonstrate that its technology was safe and could reduce the transmission of mosquito-borne viruses.
The Netherlands agreed to release Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitoes to fight dengue fever, chikungunya and zika in Saba, a Dutch Caribbean island, after a report by The National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) examined the effects that these mosquitoes could have in the local ecosystem and concluded the release of the mosquitoes would not pose risks to human health or the environment. The French High Council for Biology supported Oxitec mosquito releases.
- The Oxitec approach Archived 2014-04-18 at the Wayback Machine. Oxitech
- Cookson, Clive (23 April 2015). "'Lethal gene' to combat malaria relies on laws of attraction". Financial Times. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
- Solon, Olivia (25 April 2012). "Oxford academics tentatively embrace startup culture". Wired UK. Archived from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
- "Oxford spinout Oxitec sold to Intrexon Corporation for $160 million". Oxford University Innovation. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
- "Biotech spin-out to be sold for $160 million | University of Oxford". www.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
- Nickel, Rod (15 September 2015). "Market turbulence or not, North American investors plow into farm tech". Reuters. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- "Intrexon to Achieve $175M Cash Goal, Appoints Helen Sabzevari, PHD, as New President and CEO and Will Change Name to Precigen to Reflect Healthcare Focus".
- "Oxitec Successfully Completes First Field Deployment of 2nd Generation Friendly Aedes aegypti Technology". Oxitec. Archived from the original on 2019-08-13. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
- "Oxitec Launches Field Trial in Brazil for Next Generation Addition to Friendly™ Mosquitoes Platform - Oxitec". Oxitec. 2018-05-25. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
- "Our Company". Oxitec.
- "Biography of Grey Frandsen Special Assistant to the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS)".
- "Oxitec Transitioning Friendly™ Self-limiting Mosquitoes to 2nd Generation Technology Platform, Paving Way to New Scalability, Performance and Cost Breakthroughs". Oxitec.
- "Oxitec Signs New Multi-year Development Agreement to Apply 2nd Generation Technology to Control Soybean Looper". Oxitec.
- "Oxitec's new Friendly mosquitoes: could they unlock new possibilities in the fight against dengue?". Break Dengue. July 9, 2019.
- "Oxitec Advances Self-Limiting Fall Armyworm Control Solution to Next Phase of Development". Oxitec.
- "Oxitec to Develop 2nd Friendly Mosquito Strain Designed to Combat Malaria-Spreading Mosquitoes". Oxitec.
- "MALARIA NO MORE HONORS INNOVATORS AND IDEAS HELPING TO MAKE THE END OF MALARIA POSSIBLE IN OUR LIFETIMES". June 19, 2019.
- "Charity Navigator - IRS Data for Pilgrim Africa".
- "Malaria". PILGRIM AFRICA.
- Free, Stephen (16 May 2015). "Can genetically modified mosquitoes curb Dengue fever?". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
- Jennings, Christian (28 April 2015). "Mosquitoes Really Do Prefer Some People to Others, Say Scientists". Newsweek. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
- Lacroix, Renaud; McKemey, Andrew R.; Raduan, Norzahira; Kwee Wee, Lim; Hong Ming, Wong; Guat Ney, Teoh; Rahidah A.A., Siti; Salman, Sawaluddin; Subramaniam, Selvi; Nordin, Oreenaiza; Hanum A.T., Norhaida; Angamuthu, Chandru; Marlina Mansor, Suria; Lees, Rosemary S.; Naish, Neil; Scaife, Sarah; Gray, Pam; Labbé, Geneviève; Beech, Camilla; Nimmo, Derric; Alphey, Luke; Vasan, Seshadri S.; Han Lim, Lee; Wasi A., Nazni; Murad, Shahnaz; Vontas, John (27 August 2012). "Open Field Release of Genetically Engineered Sterile Male Aedes aegypti in Malaysia". PLOS ONE. 7 (8): e42771. Bibcode:2012PLoSO...742771L. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042771. PMC 3428326. PMID 22970102.
- Subbaraman, Nidhi (10 January 2011). "Science snipes at Oxitec transgenic-mosquito trial". Nature Biotechnology. 29 (1): 9–10. doi:10.1038/nbt0111-9a. PMID 21221085.
- Evans, Benjamin R.; Kotsakiozi, Panayiota; Costa-da-Silva, Andre Luis; Ioshino, Rafaella Sayuri; Garziera, Luiza; Pedrosa, Michele C.; Malavasi, Aldo; Virginio, Jair F.; Capurro, Margareth L.; Powell, Jeffrey R. (24 March 2020). "Editorial Expression of Concern: Transgenic Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Transfer Genes into a Natural Population". Scientific Reports. 10 (1): 5524. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-62398-w. PMC 7093417. PMID 32210318.
- Evans, Benjamin R.; Kotsakiozi, Panayiota; Costa-da-Silva, Andre Luis; Ioshino, Rafaella Sayuri; Garziera, Luiza; Pedrosa, Michele C.; Malavasi, Aldo; Virginio, Jair F.; Capurro, Margareth L.; Powell, Jeffrey R. (10 September 2019). "Transgenic Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Transfer Genes into a Natural Population". Scientific Reports. 9 (1): 13047. Bibcode:2019NatSR...913047E. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-49660-6. PMC 6736937. PMID 31506595.
- Rufford, Nick (2017-08-27). "How genetically engineered mosquitoes will save lives". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
- Nidhi Subbaraman: Science snipes at Oxitec transgenic-mosquito trial. In: Nature Biotechnology 29, 2011, S. 9–11.
- "Taking a swat at Cayman's mosquitoes". Cayman Compass. 2017-01-26. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
- "Press Release: Grand Cayman will use Oxitec solution to suppress wild Aedes aegypti, the dangerous mosquito that spreads dengue, Zika and chikungunya, in an effort to help eliminate these diseases | Oxitec". www.oxitec.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
- Whittaker, James (2017-06-15). "Islandwide GM mosquito release approved". Cayman Compass. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
- Carvalho, Danilo; et al. (2 July 2015). "Suppression of a Field Population of Aedes aegypti in Brazil by Sustained Release of Transgenic Male Mosquitoes". PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 9 (7): e0003864. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003864. PMC 4489809. PMID 26135160.
- Michael Specter: Can genetic modification eliminate a deadly tropical disease? The New Yorker, 9 July 2012
- "Oxitec's Genetically Modified Mosquitoes: A Credible Approach to Dengue Fever?" (PDF). March 2015.
- "Panama trial begins". Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Genetically Engineered Animals - Oxitec Mosquito". US Food and Drug Administration; Animal and Veterinary. 2017-02-05. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
- "Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) In Support of an Investigational Field Trial of OX513A Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes" (PDF). US FDA. March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- Kelland, Kate (18 March 2016). "WHO backs trials of genetically modified mosquitoes to fight Zika". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- Whittaker, James (14 November 2018). "GM mosquito release halted | Cayman Compass".
- Whittaker, James (26 November 2018). "Minister: No more funds for genetically modified mosquito program | Cayman Compass".
- Fordin, Spencer (6 February 2019). "Joint mosquito research project comes to a close | Cayman Compass".
- Evans; et al. (2019). "Transgenic Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Transfer Genes into a Natural Population". Scientific Reports. 9 (1): 13047. Bibcode:2019NatSR...913047E. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-49660-6. PMC 6736937. PMID 31506595.
- "Failed GM mosquito control experiment may have strengthened wild bugs". New Atlas. 2019-09-13. Retrieved 2019-09-15.
- Servick, Kelly (17 September 2019). "Study on DNA spread by genetically modified mosquitoes prompts backlash". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aaz5392.
- "Oxitec responds to article entitled 'Transgenic Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Transfer Genes into a Natural Population'". Archived from the original on 2019-09-20. Retrieved 2019-09-24.
- Tracy Thompson: Oxitec’s solution for controlling the dengue mosquito is approved by CTNBio. Archived 2016-03-01 at the Wayback Machine Oxitech, 11 April 2014
- Pollack, Andrew (30 January 2016). "New Weapon to Fight Zika: The Mosquito". New York Times. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- Jose Lopes, Reinaldo (22 April 2016). "Why transgenic insects are still not ready for prime time". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.19804.
- "Technical evaluation of a potential release of OX513A Aedes aegypti mosquitos on the island of Saba". Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu.
- Fernandez, Clara Rodriguez (2017-07-12). "Update: France and the Netherlands deem Oxitec's GM Mosquitoes Safe". Labiotech. Retrieved 2017-09-01.