Our progress so far

Introduction & Objectives: Some of the most acute challenges that the world faces now and in the foreseeable future are caused by insects and mites that seriously threaten human health and food security. Their control is primarily achieved by the use of insecticides: for example, malaria prevalence has halved since 2000, saving 660 million lives, with 80% of the reduction being attributable to the use of insecticides. However, both the limited availability of low risk insecticides and insecticide resistance represent a major threat, and there is an urgent need to develop new insecticides. CypTox will apply biotechnology excellence to exploit the cytochrome P450 (CYP) metabolic/detoxification pathway of target and non-target organisms, to develop novel insecticides, efficient against selected insect & mite major pests and vectors, but are highly selective and safe for mammals, pollinators and the environment. Outcomes will also include biotechnology-based platforms (high-throughput cell/enzyme- screening assays and in silico pipelines), in line and beyond Pharma state of the art, that will advance research capabilities, for future developments of low risk insecticides. CypTox will provide excellent research training within a creative and flexible environment that actively promotes the integration of academic rigor and commercial pragmatism through mobility between sectors and focused training events. The size and balance of a highly motivated consortium (6 academics/6 industrial in EU and 3 TC partners; 300 well distributed secondments), the involvement of experienced PIs in Horizon 2020 and ERC projects and the modern communication, dissemination and exploitation approaches of CypTox will ensure efficient implementation and impact, at several levels. Enhanced career perspectives for scientists and researchers will be achieved by building on a sustainable multidisciplinary and inter-sectoral network in a wide range of fields, with the integration of world leading researchers and stakeholders. Overarching Objective of the CypTox is to exploit the primary P450-based metabolic pathway of target and non-target organisms, for the development of highly selective, safe insecticides and new resistance breaking formulations, to improve the efficiency and sustainability of pests and vector control.

Current phase of the project: Year 2, mid term meeting, before the 24 Mo review.

Secondments progress: A total of 15 secondments visits have been performed so far.

Training Events progress: A total of 2 training events (1 Workshop, 1 Practical Course) have been performed so far.

Technical progress: The following activities have already been delivered: (1) Curated CYPs and comparative phylogenetic trees, (2) Correlation matrix of CYP expression/phenotype & metabolic signatures, (3) Novel recombinant enzyme prototype formulations, (4) Chemical structures and leads likely to interact with P450s. Significant progress has been made at the technical level for all WPs of the project.

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