- people on the move
Insecticide maker wins global award
A bio-insecticide developer in the region has been honored with an international award.
Vestaron Corp. earlier this month was awarded the inaugural Bernard Blum Award for Novel Biocontrol Solutions for the company’s bio-insecticide technology during the opening ceremony of the 10th annual ABIM Congress, or Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting, held in Basel, Switzerland.
The award recognizes innovation with high impact in management of pests or disease while having low impact on the environment and human health. The inaugural award was created in memory of the founding member of the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association and dedicated for the organization’s 20th anniversary.
Vestaron received the award for its Spear product line, which is a series of bio-insecticides using spider peptides to fight crop pests.
Bob Kennedy, chief science officer at Vestaron, said he was pleased to accept the “prestigious award” during the ceremony and was “proud of the excellent work of the Vestaron team.”
The judging panel unanimously voted Vestaron as the award winner from among 13 submissions.
John Sorenson, director and CEO of Vestaron, said Kennedy’s leadership of the research and development team is evident and the execution of the science behind the groundbreaking new product has been exceptional.
“On behalf of the entire Vestaron team, we gratefully accept this honor,” said Sorenson. “This award further verifies the importance of Vestaron’s discovery platform for new bio-insecticides with the efficacy and safety that these products bring to the industry.”
The natural insecticide-based Spear products are EPA-approved and designed as nontoxic to fish, birds, mammals and humans. Vestaron currently has three products within the Spear line: Spear-T, designed to treat thrips in vegetables and ornamentals; Spear-P, which protects potatoes from the Colorado Potato Beetle; and Spear-C, intended to protect vegetables and fruits from lepidopteron pests.
Vestaron specializes in developing insecticides using naturally occurring peptides found in spiders which are safe and effective in protecting plants, vegetables and fruits. The company is funded by a number of investors and recently closed on a $14 million oversubscribed Series C round of financing.
Vestaron’s partnering investors include Pangaea Ventures, Cultivian Sandbox, Anterra Capital, Michigan Accelerator Fund I, SWMF Life Science Fund, Open Prairie, Grand Angels and Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, among others.