Riverside, CA, United States
Riverside, CA, United States

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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Health Program | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2015

Protection of deployed ground forces from disease-carrying insects requires the immediate and safe use of insecticides. Currently, control products are too slow to manage target pests and are unrealistic solutions under battlefield conditions. Vector-borne diseases transmitted by insects, such as malaria, dengue and leishmaniasis, are increasing worldwide and are more of a threat to our military forces today than they were three decades ago. Disease transmitting insects are becoming resistant to an increasing number of public health insecticides with minimal research and development underway to search for replacements. The objective of Phase I research focused on the development of VECTRAX prototypes as attractive sugar bait formulations mixed with a toxicant that effectively kills target vectors without harming non-target animals. The results of this SBIR Phase I project have been remarkable, and VECTRAX is proving to be a viable solution for vector control. We will continue the development of optimal Attract and Kill (A&K) VECTRAX formulations targeted for disease spreading mosquitos, filth flies and sand flies. VECTRAX is designed to be a safe, effective and easily transportable product that will fill a significant gap in our ability to stop or prevent nuisance biting and disease transmission during military operations.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2016

The southern pine beetles, which can kill thousands of trees in epidemic attacks, had never been found beyond the pitch pine forests of the American South, because the winters were too cold. But they have migrated to New Jersey, where they have destroyed more than 30,000 acres of forest since 2002. And, according to a recent report of the New York Times, the warmer winters have now beckoned them to New England. Alarmed scientists first discovered the beetles last year along a front stretching more than 200 miles, from central Long Island to Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, a region long thought to be far too frigid for these tiny killer beetles.The area in North America being affected by bark beetles that respond to verbenone is massive and, due to global warming, it is ever spanding to new areas, reaching today a scale never seen in recorded history. There are no safe semiochemical tools and management options with the capacity to stop SPB attacks on southern yellow pine. At ISCA Technologies, we will create and further optimize effectiive, environmentally safe,tools to manageSPB to protect national forest resources for our current needs and those of future generations. SPB REPEL is our response to this SPB threat.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2016

In this USDA SBIR Phase I, we propose to develop Vectrax, a line of semiochemical-based products to improve monitoring and control strategies for nuisance and vector mosquitoes in our nation's rural communities, using a floral- and sugar-based attractant that can be implemented as a lure in our simple, inexpensive passive trap, or when combined with a small quantity of a reduced risk insecticide, deployed in a series of strategically placed attract and kill bait stations, or simply sprayed ont the vegetation outside houses. This formulation will intercept the hungry adult mosquito before she has a chance to feed on humans and other animals, completely disrupting the cycle of disease transmission. These Vectraxformulations will become the first line of defense against the invasion and progfression of diseases like Zika, Dengue, malaria, yellow fever and West Nile Virus.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2016

The most serious insect pest of organic crucifers in the south is the yellowmargined leaf beetle (YMLB), Microtheca ochroloma (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Researchers and other stakeholders are challenged to develop effective alternative pest management practices for adoption by organic and conventional producers. For the past 6 years, ISCA Technologies and our collaborators have been working on the manipulation of the behavior of the pest using safe natural chemicals (semiochemicals) to effect the management of YMLB and we have identified several promising attractants. We will formulate these attractants into a proprietary long lasting matrix formulation called SPLAT.Successful development of SPLAT YMLB will bring a highly effective, low-input, and organic pest management technology to the market, one that will reduce the need for pesticide use in crucifer vegetable production, and consequently decrease the human health risks and adverse environmental effects associated with toxic conventional insecticides.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 600.00K | Year: 2016

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is an aggressive, prolific, and polyphagous pest species of many crops, because they lay their eggs in healthy, unripened soft-skinned fruit,rendering them unmarketable. In August 2008, the first detection of SWD in the US caused great concern, as the fly was found infesting a variety of commercial fruits on the coast of California. The following year, SWD was detected in Oregon, Washington, Florida, and British Columbia; and in 2010, the pest appeared in Utah, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, and Louisiana. Additional detections of SWD occurred in Virginia, Montana, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and most states in the Northeast and Mexico in 2011. In Europe, SWD was first detected in 2009 in Italy and Spain, and in France the following year. In 2012, SWD was also found in South America, in Brazil. Growers in SWD-affected areas have not only suffered significant losses in susceptible crops, but also increased costs of labor and materials to deal with this invasive pest, including higher inputs of chemical insecticides, and the use of monitoring and management tools to keep SWD populations under control.Damage caused by SWD has forced growers to stop or interrupt harvests, downgrade fruit, and apply additional pesticide treatments. Just in California, Oregon and Washington, where the total farmgate value of affected fruit is $2.6B, the total revenue losses due to SWD were over $511M. Routine cover sprays of broad-spectrum insecticides area now applied 5-7 times per season just to control SWD, increasing the likelihood that the crop will have excess residual pesticide levels.Because of those risks, the sustainable management and control market for SWD in North America and Europe is projected to exceed $250 million per year by 2017.US berry and tree fruit growers urgently need effective management strategies to deal with this emerging pest. Spotted wing drosophila has been a frequent topic in newsletters and trade publications, and is listed as a top research priority by national and regional grower associations like the North American Strawberry Growers Association, the North American Raspberry and Blackberry Growers Association, Michigan blueberry and cherry growers, and berry growers in New York and New Jersey. This proposal seeks to address the needs of these growers by developing a sustainable management tool for SWD: specifically, we will further develop and optimize an attract-and-kill strategy consisting of micro-bait stations that overcome the limitations of conventional insecticides. These bait stations exude semiochemicals that preferentially attract SWD, and phagostimulants that incite attracted insects to feed on the bait and ingest a lethal dose of insecticide. Using ISCA's proven semiochemical delivery system, SPLAT® (Specialized Pheromone & Lure Application Technology), the resulting product, SPLAT SWD, provides the necessary longevity and effectiveness needed by growers to maintain a profitable operation. SPLAT SWD will directly benefit growers by enhancing on-farm environmental and economic sustainability, and will extend these benefits to the consumer market by minimizing the risks associated with pesticide residues on produce, and by helping to maintain the affordability of locally grown, healthful foods.The results of our Phase I studies have been highly encouraging. We have successfully identified a number of components and blends that are strong attractants, affording high degree of efficacy as SWD baits in the laboratory. We developed and field-tested a number of prototype A&K bait sprays, some of which proved to suppress populations of the pest, as well as the amount of damage these insects inflict on berry crops, in commercial crops. In Phase II, we will build on these successes to refine and optimize both the attractant/phagostimulant AI blend and the physical formulation of SPLAT SWD, to ensure that


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 600.00K | Year: 2016

ISCA Technologies proposes to further develop and optimize SPLAT® TK, an attract and kill(A&K) formulation designed to target all active stages of the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, aspecies of major medical and veterinary significance in the U.S., due to its capacity to transmit Lyme disease and several other zoonotic pathogens. ISCA's sprayable, long-lasting SPLAT TK formulation will attract and arrest ticks in vegetation on the borders of high traffic or high risk areas, such as the edges of pastures, backyards, or hiking trails, thereby preventing them from locating and attaching to human or animal hosts. SPLAT TK consists of a blend of highly potent semiochemical components of the I. scapularis arrestment pheromone incorporated into SPLAT®, a patented, EPA-registered controlled-release matrix. This product can be tank-mixed by the end user with an appropriate reduced-risk acaricide to form an effective, environmentally friendly A&K formulation. Attraction to SPLAT TK blended with this tank-mixed acaricide component will result in the death or significant debilitation of all questing (host-seeking) ticks within the range of detection of the active semiochemicals. Our research suggests that very low quantities of acaricide are required to achieve desired levels of season-long tick control, as the selected pheromone components have been shown to induce ticks to cluster at the site of the attractants. The reduced toxicity of SPLAT TK is enabled by the synergy of a species-specific lure that attracts the target tick to a point source with a high dose of a reduced-risk acaricide. Unlike conventional acaricides, which must be applied as uniform cover sprays to be effective, SPLAT TK is designed to be dispersed as tiny, discrete point sources. These features facilitate this product's application across rural environments, even in areas of high human activity and in sensitive natural environments. SPLAT TK shows great commercial potential due to the increasing incidence of tick-borne disease in animals and humans, as well as the lack of effective control options for I. scapularis. By reducing the dangers posed by I. scapularis and the diseases transmitted by this species, we hope to safeguard the health of human and animal residents of our nation's rural communities and expand opportunities for economic growth within thesecommunities by bolstering such industries as rural tourism, camping, hiking, fishing, and agri-tourism, all of which are currently hampered by the lack of viable control options for disease-carrying ticks. In Phase II, this innovative, effective, and environmentally sustainable approach to tick control will be developed for application in livestock production, public health, parks andrecreation, and forestry pest management programs. The annual market potential for this product in U.S. rural communities is around $115M, with an additional potential sales value of ~$400Mto consumers in affected suburban markets. Phase I studies produced excellent results,demonstrating viability of the proposed solution. From several prototype SPLAT TK formulations of attractant/arrestant tick semiochemicals, two underwent small-scale field trials in New York that not only strongly suppressed nymphal I. scapularis populations, but alsocontrolled larval tick populations. Dead larvae, nymphs, and adults were found at or near SPLAT TK A&K deposits on the foliage in the field, indicating that attracted I. scapularis manipulatedthe formulation until intoxicated. In Phase II, we will continue to optimize the prototype SPLAT TK formulation, the blend of arrestant semiochemicals, and select the best candidate reduced risk acaricides, to create a highly effective A&K formulation for season-long control of I. scapularispopulations in the field. We will also conduct evaluations of various manual and mechanical methods of application for SPLAT TK, to identify the most effective means of deployment for t


Patent
ISCA Technologies, Inc. | Date: 2016-04-29

Methods and compositions in which botanical oils, such as wintergreen oil, and/or isolated methyl salicylate are combined with an attractant matrix (pellets) and applied near a nest of leaf-cutting ants. These oils possess fungicidal and fungistatic properties that destroy and inhibit growth of the ant-cultivated fungusthe ant colonys sole food sourcethereby promoting destruction of the colony. These oils are also highly attractive to the ants, exerting no repellent effects, encouraging transport of the fungicidal materials into the nest and ensuring that the fungal colonies come into contact with the materials and suffer mortality.


Patent
ISCA Technologies, Inc. | Date: 2015-11-11

Compositions and methods for repelling coffee berry borer. The compositions contain a substrate and a semiochemical capable of affecting the coffee berry borer intermixed within the substrate. The semiochemical may be verbenone.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 500.00K | Year: 2015

Due to the mild year-round climate in the Hawaiian Islands, which allows for continuous cropping small-scale growers in this state have the potential to produce an abundance of premium-value fruits and vegetables. Due to the insidious, unrelenting pressure of fruit fly pests, particularly from three key invasive species; Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, melon fruit fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae, and Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, these growers cannot achieve their production potential. As a result, the state of Hawaii currently ranks 42nd for total agricultural sales within the US. These products will greatly improve upon current fruit fly management technologies in terms of control efficacy, field longevity, environmental safety, and impact on produce quality and profitability. Many of the current small-scale farming operations are fledging agricultural enterprises with very few prospects for a better future, and new generations are beginning to seek more profitable alternatives to farming. More effective control of these exotic fruit fly pests could reinvigorate fruit and vegetable production in Hawaii.ISCA Technologies aims to develop a novel product line for control for tephritid fruit fly pests, comprised of four different formulations: two semiochemical attract and kill formulations combining natural fruit fly attractants with a reduced risk insecticide, Hook ME&CL and Hook ME&CL+TML; and two attractant blends of these semiochemicals without insecticide, SPLAT® ME&CL and SPLAT® ME&CL+TML, to be used for effective monitoring or mass trapping.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SMALL BUSINESS PHASE I | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2017

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will be to develop an effective new mosquito control product that works against both adult and immature vectors, drastically reducing the size of the vector population without reliance on conventional insecticides. It will consist of two components: a potent plant-derived attractant to lure adult vector mosquitoes and an insect development disruptor that locks larvae in a permanent state of immaturity, eventually resulting in death, and also renders exposed adults infertile. This product will reduce the impacts of mosquito-borne illnesses around the world, and reduce environmental contamination by cover sprays of hazardous conventional pesticides. This strategy could revolutionize area-wide mosquito control programs: by inducing a large proportion of mosquitoes within the target population to act as their own delivery mechanism for the control agent, the proposed product substantially increases the effective size of the treated area, making it operationally viable to effectively treat every larval habitat and adult resting site, even in urban areas with an overwhelming abundance of potential habitats. Because this product attracts and contaminates all key species of mosquitoes, it will become an invaluable tool for the $16B/yr global vector control market.

The technical objectives in this Phase I project are designed to demonstrate feasibility of an auto-dissemination strategy to control mosquito populations via three mechanisms: 1) exposure to the formulation containing the disruptor sterilizes adults; 2) larval breeding sites contaminated by the disruptor during adult visits will produce no viable offspring; and 3) the disruptor passed between adults during interactions (mating) increases the proportion of sterile individuals in the population and unproductive larval habitats in the treated area. By manipulating mosquitoes to deliver the control agent to their own offspring and restricting the reproductive capacity of the adult population, this project will help to overcome the long historical prejudice in favor of adult-targeting chemical insecticides by demonstrating that larval-targeted measures can be used to suppress vector populations at reasonable cost, renewing scientific and commercial interest in such alternative strategies. To demonstrate feasibility of this approach, Phase I research will focus on evaluating the effects of the formulation on vector mosquitoes when exposure occurs through contact and/or ingestion; determining the capacity of female mosquitoes to deliver the formulation to larval habitats; and finally, demonstrating the efficacy of the proposed auto-dissemination strategy in reducing vector populations in an endemic field setting.

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