Who we are
We are a biotechnology company developing ground-breaking solutions to control the world’s most dangerous insect species.
Our team pioneered CRISPR and gene drive technologies, sparking a paradigm shift in how we imagine the future of insect pest and vector control.
At Biocentis, we are committed to responsible research and development, fostering a strong relationship with regulators, ethics advisors and communities who will benefit from the use of our solutions.
Biocentis is a spin-out of Imperial College London and has acquired a license on an IP portfolio that builds on years of ground-breaking research and enables a unique technology platform for insect control.
Biocentis’ founders are the inventors of the patents underlying this technological platform and have demonstrated its incredible potential having led at Imperial College London the development of the only self-sustaining gene drive capable of successfully suppressing mosquito populations for sustainable control of disease vectors in all trials so far. The results of this work have been praised by the scientific community, with multiple publications in the world-renowned journals Nature Biotechnology and Nature Communications.
Building on the previous work of its founders and on the resulting IP and technological platform, Biocentis is developing next-generation genetic biocontrol solutions to tackle harmful insect species.
With offices in Milan, Terni (Italy), and London, our diverse and accomplished team has unparalleled experience in the scientific and technological fields and an outstanding track record in company building and management.
As a spin-out of Imperial College London, we also benefit from experience, networks and infrastructure afforded by the world’s leading university in genetic pest control.
Biocentis’ technological platform is based on the selective targeting of the doublesex gene, a highly-conserved gene that plays a crucial role in the reproduction of all insect species. Because of this characteristic, this gene has demonstrated to be an ideal and to date the only viable candidate to develop a functioning gene drive.
Building on the patents related to this technological platform, that have been exclusively licensed to Biocentis by Imperial College London in all fields but malaria control, our scientists are developing the next generation of “self-limiting” gene drive technologies to control insect pests and vectors of disease.
Our self-limiting gene drive technology is:
Environmentally friendly and sustainable
Because our solution works by releasing insects belonging to a single species, we do not affect non-target insects or harm human health and the environment through the use of chemicals.
Reversible and controllable
The genetic modifications we introduce are self-limiting, and as such are designed to disappear from the environment over time, enabling a reversible pest and vector control solution that can be targeted specifically and exclusively to the areas of interest.
Effective and affordable
Self-limiting gene drives are predicted to be an extremely effective tool to locally control a specific insect pest or vector of disease. The traits driving insect population reduction perdure in the target population for enough time to allow long-term and sustainable control, requiring the release of far lower numbers of modified insects compared to other technologies, while still eventually disappearing from the environment.
Applicable to any harmful insect
Our technological platform targets a gene that is uniquely critical for reproduction in all insect species. Because of this, we can potentially apply our technology to many insect vectors of disease and agricultural insect pests.
At Biocentis, we believe in the disruptive potential of cutting-edge data analysis, which is why we are also strongly investing in our data science capabilities to explore the uncharted applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning to all aspects of research and development, manufacturing and field operation activities.
We want to empower communities with affordable solutions to tackle the world’s most dangerous insect vectors of disease, to preserve biodiversity and to protect agricultural crops from harmful insect pests.
Our vision is a more sustainable world, capable of feeding a growing population and free of vector-borne disease.