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FARMINGTON, Connecticut (HBJ) – Connecticut-based biotech startup Azitra Inc., which develops dermatological medicines that utilize natural skin bacteria, is part of a group working on a US $ 15 million defense project to to develop an improved mosquito repellent.
Together with Azitra, Gingko Bioworks, Florida International University (FIU) and the Latham Biopharma Group received a contract worth 15 million US dollars from the US Agency for Advanced Defense Research Projects (DARPA).
The four companies are trying to develop a safe product that will block the chemicals produced by the skin that attract mosquitoes.
“The resulting product is expected to have significant military, consumer and global health uses,” said a statement from the four groups. “Mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and Zika virus cause over a million deaths worldwide.”
Azitra, which was founded in Farmington prior to moving to Branford last January, will bring its extensive scientific knowledge of the skin microbiome to the development and characterization of various strains of bacteria, a statement from the four groups said.
The company will also take the lead in the formulation, packaging and manufacturing of microbiome products related to the project.
Azitra was founded in 2014 by Yale scientists at UConn’s Technology Incubator Program (TIP) accelerator in Farmington.
In January last year, the company moved into 12,000 square meters of laboratory and office space in Branford.
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