A perspective on the development of Isoclast, a member of an innovative new class of insecticides
September 26, 2016

Taking a closer look at Isoclast™ active with Imre Mezei

Imre Mezei, Dow AgroSciences’ Zonal Biology Team Leader for Europe, gives us his perspective on the development of Isoclast™ active – a member of an innovative new class of insecticides.

“After a long characterisation and development process, Isoclast™ active is now registered in over 40 countries and represents a major development in the global insecticide market”, says Imre.

He goes on to explain the key benefits of this breakthrough active ingredient. “Isoclast controls sap-feeding insects without phytotoxicity to the crop. It offers a unique mode of action and exhibits no cross-resistance to current standards, has a favourable toxicity profile and does not flare secondary insect pest outbreaks. Importantly, Isoclast will help European farmers remain productive and competitive on the European and global markets.

Imre addresses the “ever-scarcer toolbox” that European farmers have at their disposal to tackle critical insect problems with, and discusses how “Isoclast will help as it exhibits a high degree of efficacy against a wide range of sap-feeding insects including aphids, whiteflies, scales, planthoppers and plant bugs, as well as other pest groups”.

Not only are there clear economic benefits for farmers, Imre explains that Isoclast will also have a wider positive impact on global food sustainability and biodiversity. “Isoclast is a low-use-rate technology used as foliar spray at a maximum rate of 48 g a.i./ha that will reduce the environmental load of insecticide active ingredients applied to crops.  In addition, it effectively and reliably controls the target pests (even those resistant to other insecticides) thereby significantly reducing the yield and quality loss.”

In relation to biodiversity, Imre refers to Isoclast’s “unique attributes, including low residual toxicity and low environmental persistence”, which make risks to honey bees easy to manage by farmers. Isoclast has been used on millions of hectares worldwide, across multiple food and ornamental crops and over several growing seasons without reported harm to honey bees.

Imre explains that Isoclast will be registered in the European zonal registration system. “In the EU regulatory Central Zone, Isoclast will be registered in cereals, brassicas, beans, peas, potatoes, leafy vegetables, pome and stone fruits and ornamentals. In the Southern Zone, Isoclast will also be registered in oilseed rape, cotton, fruiting vegetables and citrus crops”. Due to the warmer weather conditions, he predicts that Isoclast will have a particularly high impact in the Southern Zone, although its “wide application window” allows it to be used across seasons.

Imre reveals that there is a sophisticated R&D process that led to the creation of Isoclast. Developed many years ago, the system “ensures that company resources are focused on the highest value opportunities, and then used efficiently. The process has resulted in the creation of many new actives over the past few decades, making Dow AgroSciences one of the most innovative companies in its field”.

He concludes with a summary on what’s next for Isoclast. “In Europe, we received active approval last year and the first approvals for Isoclast plant protection products are forecasted for Q4 2016 (EU Central Zone) and Q1 2017 (EU Southern Zone)”.

Imre Mezei is the Zonal Biology Team Leader in Europe for Dow AgroSciences. He is responsible for the development of insecticide molecules including Isoclast, starting at the field characterisation trials through the registration up to the launch.