A genetically engineered mosquito being used in the fight against Zika will not have a significant impact on the environment, the maker Intrexon Corp said, citing preliminary findings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Males of the self-limiting strain of the Aedes aegypti mosquito are modified so their offspring die before being able to reproduce, says Intrexon, a U.S. synthetic biology company.
The FDA findings agree with the draft environmental assessment submitted by Oxitec, the UK unit of Intrexon that developed the mosquito.
Zika, carried by mosquitoes, has been linked to a spike in microcephaly, a rare birth defect, as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause paralysis.
The company’s stock was up about 3 percent at $35.93 in early trading on Friday.