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SSPC licence with Hexafly and Prof. Kevin Kavanagh at Maynooth University
July 22, 2022

Professor Kevin Kavanagh, Biological & Biomedical Science Programme Coordinator at Maynooth University (MU) and Funded Investigator with SSPC, the SFI Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals has commercialised the outputs of an SSPC funded project to develop novel applications of Hexafrass. The application of Hexafrass to soil leads to a significant reduction in the reproduction of Barley aphids (greenflies) on cereal plants. The SSPC work was completed in 2021 and built on the initial Hexafly-Maynooth collaboration to evaluate the commercial potential of Hexameal.

Hexafly Biotech, an Irish company pioneering the use of insects and insect based products for inclusion in feeds and as plant nutrients. Hexafly Biotech cultures black soldier flies (Hermetic illucens) and derives a number of products from these with a variety of actual and potential applications. Larvae are cultured, dried and ground to yield a meal (Hexameal) which can be used as a food additive, oil can be extracted from larvae and used as a chemical starting material and the waste product of insects (Hexafrass) can be collected and used as a soil enhancer.

The application of Hexafrass to soil leads to a significant reduction in the reproduction of Barley aphids (greenflies) on cereal plants. This discovery creates the possibility of controlling aphid populations using Hexafrass with a highly effective and environmentally sustainable treatment for use in horticulture and agriculture.

“This collaboration focused on delivering solutions and options for real world problems.” Prof. Kevin Kavanagh, MU

 “SSPC funding and collaboration with Maynooth University has allowed us to co-develop novel applications for our products that will have commercial value in the coming months and years. We look forward to continuing our partnership with MU as we continue to advance our R&D program and bring more discoveries to market.” Dr Paul Tyndall, Commercialisation Executive, (MU)

A further collaboration has the potential to deliver novel applications for the company’s products and validate the PI and RPO impact for an emerging regional SME. Further development of the licensed know how is planned in 2022.

Hexafly outputs supports sustainability and drive outputs that are of low impact on the environment, offer healthier options for the consumer, public health and wellbeing through improved treatments.

A full report was recently published in the Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey 2021, download here.

Prof. Kevin Kavanagh, spoke on Newstalk about his research and the science behind The Last of Us: The science behind the parasitic fungus: https://www.newstalk.com/news/the-last-of-us-the-science-behind-the-parasitic-fungus-1431718

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