Olfactor Laboratories, Inc. (OLI) is designing and developing innovative products that can be part of the world-wide strategy to significantly reduce diseases spread by insects and lower the general nuisance caused by their proximity to humans.
Our initial research is focused on mosquitos as they are a major cause of the spread of many debilitating and potentially lethal diseases around the world. By using safe chemicals to disrupt the insect’s olfactory system (the primary mechanism used in locating a human or other animal to use as a source of a blood-meal), OLI’s efficient and cost-effective products will seek to protect humans and livestock from the blood seeking insects. This represents a true paradigm shift in the war against vector insects and the diseases they transmit.
At its inception, OLI acquired the exclusive, worldwide license rights to a compound set from the laboratory of Dr. Anandasankar Ray at the University of California, Riverside. The work at the UCR campus was focused on identifying compounds capable of manipulating CO2 receptors and was featured in the world-renowned scientific journal Nature (2011).
Today, based on an OLI developed patent-pending list of compounds that can disrupt a mosquito’s host-seeking behavior, OLI’s products can effectively prevent mosquitos and other vector insects from finding blood-meal hosts – and therefore have the potential of dramatically altering the transmission rates of deadly, insect carried diseases among human and other animal populations.
Additionally, OLI product development efforts include investigating compounds that can artificially activate the carbon dioxide receptor neuron. These products that mimic CO2 response can act as lures to draw mosquitos into trapping systems strategically placed away from the vicinity of humans and other animals. Currently trapping systems are limited by having to use cylinders (expensive, difficult to manage in the field) or dry ice (short-lasting, labor intensive) to produce carbon dioxide as a lure. Some areas of the world cannot obtain either cylinders or dry ice, and insect catch rates are greatly reduced which hampers insect surveillance.
OLI’s team is comprised of expert scientists and researchers, operational specialists, and science advisors- all of whom share a passion for extending this remarkable discovery into real products that can have an impact on the lives of people who need it most.
The OLI products can make a real difference in how the battle with vector-borne disease is waged. Our technology can disrupt an insect’s ability to sense CO2, a main host-seeking mechanism for vector insects, and we can activate the receptor to lure insects into traps. Our technology has the potential to reduce the need for harmful insecticides and expensive carbon dioxide delivery systems. This two-prong approach, which utilizes the same physiological pathway, could reduce human exposure to vector insects and increase the disease surveillance ability of health agencies.