|Malaysian Prince Naquiyuddin on left and Alan Brandt, EntoGenex's research head|
No more fear of mosquito bites and need not go in search of mosquito bite repellents. Hats off to all the efforts by EntoGenex - a biotech company which has put a dot to the harmful threats due to mosquito bites and thereby an end to the dreadful disease - dengue.
A former diplomat and son of Malaysia's past king, Naquiyuddin, 65, he has been involved in a wide range of philanthropic and charitable pursuits is now promoting a novel weapon against the worsening scourge of dengue fever: a protein "pill" that starves mosquito larvae and could revolutionize the global dengue fight.
Among Naquiyuddin's diverse business activities is the biotech company he founded in 2007, EntoGenex, which has taken a pre-existing protein called the Trypsin Modulating Oostatic Factor, or TMOF, and developed it into what he calls a fatal "diet pill" for mosquitoes.TMOF is mixed into yeast cells which are then inserted in rice husks, allowing them to float on water where they will be eaten by mosquito larvae, said Alan Brandt, EntoGenex's research head. "Larvae love yeast," he added.
Once consumed, it shuts down the mosquito larvae's digestive systems, starving them to death before they can grow and spread dengue, Naquiyuddin said as he showed slides and photographs of dead mosquitos at the firm's high-tech research facility in downtown Kuala Lumpur.
"The 'pill' has a 100 percent success rate against all larvae species within 24 hours, and there is no way for resistance to build as it is not a toxic chemical but a protein which only affects mosquitos," Naquiyuddin said. The protein stops production of trypsin, a critical enzyme without which digestion cannot occur.
Channel News Asia and My. sinchew.com