SCG partners up with France’s Institut Pasteur to combat dengue with innovations to reduce mosquito breeding

Date: 11 Jun 2019

Bangkok – June 11, 2019 Dr. Suracha Udomsak (right), Chief Technology Officer, on behalf of Chemicals Business, SCG, and Dr. Anavaj Sakuntabhai (left), Coordinator of the Defeat Dengue Program, Head of Structure, Functional Genetics of Infectious Diseases, representing Institut Pasteur, signed a collaborative research agreement for the development of anti-dengue innovations. The signing ceremony was held at the French Embassy of Thailand and presided over by Mr. Jacques Lapouge (middle), the French Ambassador to Thailand. This collaboration is part of Institut Pasteur’s Defeat Dengue Program, aims to prevent and eliminate dengue outbreaks, which are particularly frequent in tropical zones, such as Asia and Africa.

Mr. Jacques Lapouge, the French Ambassador to Thailand, said, “Mosquitoes and dengue fever are a serious problem in many parts of the world. According to the World Health Organization, about 50 million people worldwide are infected annually, and the number has been increasing every year. This collaboration between Thailand and France to take on this challenge marks a promising start and will lead to a technological exchange between Institut Pasteur, one of the world’s leading research institute, and SCG, one of Thailand’s most established companies.”

Dr. Anavaj Sakuntabhai, Coordinator of the Defeat Dengue Program, Head of Structure, Functional Genetics of Infectious Diseases, Institut Pasteur, stated “Dengue is a global health problem. For over 20 years, Institut Pasteur has been conducting research to stop dengue outbreaks and found that successful prevention requires a collaborative effort, especially from business sector, as it can take research findings to communities and society at large. This project is an example of a collaboration between a research institute and the business sector, and I hope that it will not only prove successful in Thailand but can also be scaled up globally.”

Dr. Suracha Udomsak, Chief Technology Officer, Chemicals Business, SCG, remarked, “SCG strives to achieve sustainable development and believes that developing technologies in tandem with fostering open collaboration can lead to a better quality of life. It is an honor for us to have been trusted by Institut Pasteur to join the project, where we apply our expertise on functional materials as well as knowledge of materials science and design to develop the innovation to reduce mosquito breeding and the spread of dengue fever. This innovation can serve as an alternative preventive tool against the world’s health issue of dengue.

The collaboration consists of the research and development of a mosquito trap and a functional material that helps improve the binding properties of compounds that inhibit mosquito breeding. When dissolved in water sources, the material can reduce the growth rate of mosquito larvae while posing no harm to other living creatures or the environment.

Chemicals Business, SCG and Institut Pasteur have also been working in collaboration with the Department of Medical Sciences, the Ministry of Public Health, and Ikari Trading (Thailand) Company Limited to administer mosquito attractants and conduct both lab and field tests on the efficiency of the mosquito trap before a public launch.