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Inaugural Bernard Blum award for Novel Biocontrol Solutions goes to US company Vestaron Corp

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Vestaron Corporation is a leader in the development and marketing of safe and effective bioinsecticides derived from naturally occurring peptides. The company got the award for its Spear product line (GS-omega/kappa-Hxtx-Hv1a) a series of bioinsecticides derived from spider peptides with activity on lepidoptera and coleoptera. The Spear product line also uses the addition of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) to improve performance as a part of an integrated pest management system.

There were thirteen entries for this inaugural award. The judges panel, headed by Dr Owen Jones, a former President of IBMA responsible for Global Strategy at Suterra LLC until 2012, now an independent Consultant at Lisk & Jones in the UK, were unanimous in support of the 3 shortlisted entries and also on the ranking of the top three: In addition to the winner Vestaron, the company DCM & De Ceuster (Belgium) was ranked number 2 and Belgium’s Biobest was ranked number 3.

Inge Hanssen, R&D Manager at DCM Corporation: “DCM Corporation is honoured that PMV®-01 was ranked number two for the inaugural Bernard Blum Award for Novel Biocontrol Solutions. We are very proud of this recognition. Our PMV®-01 plant vaccine is the result of many years of scientific research, which was performed in close collaboration with the Flemish tomato industry, and provides the growers with a biocontrol solution to combat this damaging viral disease. The PMV®-01 vaccination strategy protects tomato plants from severe losses in quality and yield caused by aggressive PepMV infections.” Thijs De Langhe, market development PMV®-01 commented: “The active substance of PMV®-01 is authorized under EC regulation 1107/2009. DCM Corporation is now ready for the next steps of bringing PMV®-01 to the market both in- and outside the EU. PMV®-01 was already applied under emergency authorisations on more than 1500 ha of tomatoes with excellent results.”

Biobest and Lallemand Plant Care were also pleased that Flying Doctors with Prestop 4B was on the shortlisted. Sarah Van Beneden, Product Manager at Biobest, says :”We’re pleased with this recognition for our approach to sustainable strawberry and raspberry production. Flying Doctors bumblebees provide optimal pollination and distribute Prestop 4B to the flowers to achieve optimum natural protection against grey mold. With this new application technique we can achieve a continuous protection of the flowers with a limited amount of product. First introduced in Belgium, we expect the technology to be commercially available in 2016 in the Netherlands, France and Scandinavia” Jean-Marc Sanchez, Area Manager at Lallemand Plant Care, also commented :”Next to our flagship product Prestop, the Prestop 4B is based on the same highly effective active ingredient, the beneficial fungus Gliocladium catenulatum. The formulation of Prestop 4B makes it suitable for distribution by bumblebees, a unique delivery system to control flowerborne diseases such as grey mold. We are pleased to collaborate with Biobest to advance this sustainable technology in berries and are jointly exploring possible further uses.”

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