BOSTON, May 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A GreenLight Biosciences RNA-based solution designed to protect bees of the Varroa destructor mite was named a finalist by fast business for its World Changing Ideas Awards 2022.
It’s the first RNA-based solution to directly target mites, which have been detected in 90% of US hives and what beekeepers call the biggest threat to bee colonies today. In field trials, the solution reduces mite levels with high efficacy compared to a leading chemical pest control.
“GreenLight’s technology, we’re testing it now, and we’ve seen it work,” said Barry Hart, owner of Hart Honey Farms in Georgia. A beekeeper since 1985, Hart said Varroa mites have wiped out many of his hives.
GreenLight’s varroa mite product candidate is currently undergo testing in multiple states and is expected to be submitted for EPA approval in 2022.
About 3 million commercial bee colonies in the United States help pollinate more than 100 crops per year, worth an estimated $15 billion. The Varroa mite breeds in the same hive cells as larvae of pregnant bees, grows to parasitize bees and in doing so spreads disease, destroying colonies across the world.
A limited number of chemical treatments are the current weapons in the fight against the Varroa mite. However, traditional treatments come with side effects that can include bee death. Varroa mites have also developed resistance to several existing traditional chemical pesticides, which also require farmers to wear special protective gear and goggles to apply. GreenLight’s patented RNA technology only requires gloves.
“Crops pollinated by bees account for about one-third of the food Americans eat, so declining bee populations could have major consequences for the food supply,” said Andrey Zarur, CEO of GreenLight Biosciences. . “Our mission is to protect the species safely and effectively, and we are delighted with Fast Company’s recognition of our achievements.”
GreenLight and other Fast Company nominees and winners can be found here.
About GreenLight Biosciences
GreenLight Biosciences aims to solve some of the world’s biggest problems by harnessing the full potential of RNA for human health and agriculture. Our RNA platform enables us to research, design and manufacture for human, animal and plant health. In human health, this includes messenger RNA vaccines and therapeutics. In agriculture, this includes RNA to protect bees and a range of crops. The company’s platform is protected by numerous patents. GreenLight’s human health product candidates are in the preclinical stage, and its agricultural market product candidates are in the early stages of development or regulatory review. GreenLight is a utility company that trades under the symbol GRNA on the Nasdaq. For more information visit https://www.greenlightbiosciences.com/
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