Marrone Bio Innovations receives EPA approval of first biological product for controlling invasive mussels in water systems


Source: Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI)

Zequanox approval marks MBI’s expansion into water treatment market

DAVIS, CALIF. -- Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI) today announced that the Environmental Protection Agency has approved its latest product, Zequanox, the first biological product available for controlling invasive mussels. Across the U.S. and Europe, invasive zebra and quagga mussels are crippling industrial and commercial water sources by clogging pipes and infesting freshwater lakes and rivers, resulting in billions of dollars of damage to civil and industrial infrastructure.  Until now, there have been no environmentally safe, targeted solutions for treating the problem.

“The Zequanox approval represents a revolutionary step in the treatment of this serious problem,” said Dr. Sarahann Rackl, MBI’s Invasive Mussel Project Leader. “By providing a safe and effective biological solution that does not harm other aquatic species, Zequanox could ultimately prevent millions of gallons of toxic chemical by-products from entering increasingly scarce water sources.”

Zequanox is derived from a common microbe found in soil and water bodies. The product has significant benefits over current chemical treatments, which can be toxic to beneficial species and pollute the waterways.  Zequanox is easier to use, less labor intensive and requires shorter treatment times compared with chemical treatments.  It can be used by power plants and raw water treatment facilities as an alternative to chemical treatments, such as chlorine, or as a complement to chemical products.

The approval of Zequanox marks MBI’s expansion into the multi-billion dollar water market. In preparation of the EPA submission, MBI worked extensively with the Federal Bureau of Reclamation in a hydroelectric generation facility on the lower Colorado River under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, as well as with the Ontario Power Generation’s Niagara Plant Group. Zequanox will initially be launched in power generation and industrial facilities in late 2011 and later will expand into open water treatments. The company has invested several million dollars in the development of Zequanox, and recently hired industry veteran Dennis Bitter to spearhead North American sales of the product.

“The addition of Zequanox to our product portfolio marks an important milestone for the company, as we expand beyond our agricultural roots into the fast-growing industrial and commercial water markets,” said MBI CEO Pam Marrone. “Zequanox is the second product for which MBI has secured EPA approval, and the first in our pipeline of biopesticides for water treatment.  We look forward to commercial acceptance of additional water and agricultural products in the coming months.”

Regalia, MBI’s flagship product for the prevention of fungal and bacterial diseases in crops, is selling in the US and other countries in Europe and Latin America. The company has also developed an extensive pipeline of early-stage and advanced products for effective and safe pest management.

About Marrone Bio Innovations

Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. is a leading global provider of biopesticides for the agricultural and water treatment markets. Its effective and environmentally friendly natural agricultural products provide higher yields and quality while managing pesticide resistance and residues. Through its proprietary discovery and development platform and strategically in-licensed technologies, MBI has developed an extensive pipeline of advanced and early- stage products addressing billion dollar markets. MBI is selling its award-winning Regalia biofungicide in the U.S. and other countries, and will now enter the water market with Zequanox™ for controlling invasive aquatic mussels in fresh waterways. MBI currently has three dozen patents pending in the U.S. and globally.

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