Senestech Inc   (SNES)
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Senestech Inc

Business Description

We have developed and are seeking to commercialize globally a proprietary technology for managing animal pest populations through fertility control. We believe our innovative non-lethal approach, targeting reproduction, is more humane, less harmful to the environment, and more effective in providing a sustainable solution to pest infestations than traditional lethal pest management methods. Our approach is designed to promote food security and reduce infrastructure damage, disease outbreaks, environmental contamination and other costs associated with rodent infestations. Our first fertility control product, ContraPest®, will be marketed for use in controlling rat populations.

We are pursuing regulatory approvals and amendments to existing registration in the US for ContraPest in various jurisdictions, including the U.S., India, Argentina and the EU. We submitted ContraPest for registration with the EPA on August 23, 2015, and the EPA granted registration approval for ContraPest effective August 2, 2016. We believe ContraPest is the first non-lethal fertility control product approved by the EPA for the management of rodent populations. However, before we can begin selling ContraPest in the U.S., we must obtain registration from the various state regulatory agencies. To date, we have received registration for ContraPest in 45 states and the District of Columbia, with additional applications pending. Other business initiatives include expanding our technology to other species and applications, and developing bio-synthetic sources of triptolide, an active ingredient in ContraPest that also has pharmaceutical applications. This initiative may produce a less expensive source of triptolide for our own use, and provide us with the potential opportunity to earn revenue from the sale of such product to other potential consumers of triptolide.

ContraPest, when used as directed, causes rodent populations to remain at a sustained low level. A third-party laboratory study in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture National Wildlife Research Center, or NWRC, completed in December 2014 observed that 50 wild-caught rats treated with ContraPest in the presence of regular food and water resulted in a 95% reduction in litter sizes. A follow-up USDA study completed in June 2015 involving 50 wild-caught rats demonstrated a 96% reduction in litter size in female and male rats treated with ContraPest in an open arena study. We have also conducted open population studies, including in trash rooms in the New York City subway completed August 2013 and with the largest hog producer in the United States completed in March 2015, in which we have observed decreases in wild rodent populations of more than 40% over a 12-week period. We believe this decrease in population will continue and, based on studies conducted by third parties, will stabilize at an approximately 70% reduction in 12 months without rebound (based on an initial population of approximately 10,000 rats). Also, we have observed that the contraceptive effect of ContraPest in reducing rat population is present regardless of the amount consumed by any particular rat in that population.

Consequently, rat populations treated with ContraPest do not experience the same “population rebound” effect as those treated with rodenticides because the non-reproductive rodents continue to defend their territory from invasion by other rodents. Further, this low level of rodents contain a mixed gene pool that does not favor the development of resistance to the active ingredients. As a result, property owners and pest management operators may be able to substantially decrease the amount of ContraPest used over time, thus reducing the total cost of rodent population control in the long term. The following chart, which is based on data derived from our population models and field studies, predicts that as the use of ContraPest sustainably reduces rat populations over time and on an ongoing basis, the cost of ContraPest would be lower in the long term as compared to rodenticides.

Our solution involves a targeted delivery

Our proprietary formulation appears to be attractive to rodents. To maintain proper hydration, rats drink 10% of their body weight in water each day; our product is a liquid bait and comprised mostly of water. Moreover, studies show that rats prefer and develop an addiction to eating sweet and fatty foods. ContraPest incorporates these elements, and our studies demonstrate that rats prefer ContraPest even when other familiar food and water sources were abundant, such as in indoor garbage collection areas of urban, industrial facilities. Once consumed, our product is designed to avoid a first pass through the liver effect and to deliver active ingredients directly to targeted reproductive organs, thus increasing its effectiveness and minimizing harm to the animal.

In addition, our solution utilizes a unique delivery system in the field that not only allows us to evaluate the effectiveness of our fertility control products, but also enables us to observe rodent pest behavior and determine the optimal locations for our proprietary bait stations. We also are able to customize the specific concentration to address the target pest.

Our solution is safe

Studies of ContraPest have demonstrated that doses of ContraPest are not lethal to rodents or harmful to people or other animals. The active ingredients in ContraPest are included at very low concentrations (together totaling less than 0.1% of the formulation) and have short half-lives of less than 20 minutes in the blood of rodents. Therefore, the active ingredients in ContraPest do not accumulate in tissues or organs of the rat (as poisons do) and thus do not sicken or kill predators or scavengers that eat a rat that has consumed ContraPest.

In addition, at the concentrations of active ingredients in our product, there is no potential for reproductive disruption in humans. A human would have to consume impossibly large amounts of the active ingredients in our product to have any effect. Further, the man-made chemical that is one of our active ingredients (4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide, or VCD) has been used in manufacturing settings, and no toxic effects have been demonstrated in humans. The other active ingredient (triptolide) is a plant-derived ingredient used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Moreover, ContraPest is delivered in a ready-to-use and pre-packaged plastic container which is inserted into a tamper-resistant rodent bait station. As the container is inserted into the station, a spike punctures the foil-covered opening, allowing the liquid bait to flow into a tray within the bait station. The tank is a non-refillable container, which is recapped and disposed of when empty. Thus, as a “closed system,” there is little opportunity for handler exposure and virtually no opportunity for bystander exposure.

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