Innovation Excellence Awarded!
- Post by: CIPPS
- 17 October 2023
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Congratulations to Professor Glenn King for receiving the 2023 Prime Minister's Prize for Innovation last night!
Glenn was recognised for his pioneering work in discovering peptides from Australian funnel-web spider venom and in developing these for use in sustainable crop protection and potentially new human therapeutics.
Glenn founded the company, Vestaron, which develops safe and eco-friendly insecticides for farmers. He discovered the peptide Hx1a in the venom of the Blue Mountains Funnel web spider could be used to control major greenhouse pests: aphids, spider mites, spotted-winged drosphila, thrips and whitefly. This was commercialised by Vesteron as Spear-T and shown to work as efficiently as conventional insecticides but with safety and sustainability for pollinators and other beneficials. Spear-T was approved for use by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2014.
He is now the Chief Scientific Officer for Infensa Bioscience, which is developing spider venom therapeutics from the K'gari Funnel Web spider to help treat strokes and heart attacks. Infensa plans to start Australian-based clinical trials for heart-related therapeutics in 2024.
Glenn is co-leader of our Discover Theme, and a Chief Investigator based at The University of Queensland. Congratulations once again for receiving the country's highest award for innovation!