The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has allowed two AgriDyneTechnologies patents related to the company's bioinsecticidemanufacturing process. The Salt Lake City-based company is workingto develop environmentally compatible bioinsecticides usingcompounds derived from the neem tree, which is native to India andother tropical countries.The first patent is for a refining process that removes fungalcontaminants found in neem seeds from the company's neem extract.The process is used in the manufacture of technical-gradeazadirachtin, which is used in the production of the company'sbioinsecticides.The second patent is for a method of producing stable insecticideformulations containing high concentrations of azadirachtin. Higher-concentration formulations provide for greater economies in thehandling and use of pest control products, particularly when treatinglarge-acreage crops such as vegetables, fruits, cotton and soybeans.AgriDyne also has received a $63,000 Small Business InnovationResearch (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation to studythe possibility of producing azadirachtin from tissue-cultured cells ofthe tropical neem tree rather than extracting the compound from neemseeds. The grant will be used for a six-month validation study, whichcould be expanded to a larger two-year study. Successful cellularproduction of biologically active neem compounds would lessenAgriDyne's dependence on seasonal availability of seeds and on seedsupplies from developing countries. _ Philippa Maister
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