RNAi pesticides target an existing pathway in insect pests 

RNAissance’s insecticides work by harnessing the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway of the target organism. 

The RNAi pathway is found in the cells of both plants and animals, including insects. The RNAi pathway is thought to have first evolved in part to recognize and remove invading RNA viruses (polio virus, for example, is an RNA virus) to defend against infection.

The active pharmacological ingredient of RNAi insecticides is a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA).
The sequence of the dsRNA is designed very specifically to complement a sequence within an essential gene of the targeted insect.

The dsRNA is delivered to the insect midgut through feeding.

Once the dsRNA is inside the insect cell, it is processed by the insect’s own RNAi pathway into a smaller, single-stranded RNA, called a guide RNA. Through complementary base pairing, this RNA identifies the targeted insect gene and guides the rest of the RNAi machinery to effectively disrupt the expression of the gene. 

The microbial balance of the insect's gut is upset and microorganisms are not cleared from the insect's system, resulting in increased mortality. The insect dies. The plant and other insects are unaffected. 



A major problem with previous RNAi insecticides: Not effective against Lepidopteran insect pests.
diamondback moth larvae


Our lead product targets the diamondback moth, estimated to cause more than $4 billion in crop losses annually. Other targets include fall armyworm, cutworms, earworms, cabbage looper and European corn borer.


Coleoptera are a global agricultural challenge. These agricultural pests attack cereals, millets, oil seed crops, vegetables, and stored grains. Our targets include the corn rootworm.

Two spotted spider mite


Targets include spider mites for plant protection and ticks for animal health.  

The primary focus of RNAissance Ag is the development of sprayable RNA pesticides. 
RNAissance Ag's innovative and proprietary RNAi designs have dramatically improved the efficacy of RNAi-based pesticides for insects of the order Lepidoptera, including diamondback moth, for which we are currently in early field trials.  

RNAissance Ag's novel RNAi pesticidal designs can also be deployed as a GMO trait. We have demonstrated this in proof-of-concept field trials.


RNAissance Ag offers multiple product and licensing opportunities. We look forward to discussing partnership opportunities with you. Contact us. 

Pest Control

RNAissance Ag is developing safe and effective RNAi-based products for commercial agricultural pest control. We are pursuing products for the most critical agricultural pests and developing formulations that are easy to use and cost effective.

Home & Garden Sprays & Baits

Consumers have demonstrated interest in pest control solutions that are safe and effective, without the use of dangerous chemicals. RNAissance Ag believes an RNAi-based biopesticide, in bait or spray, could be an important addition to home and garden pest control. 

Transgenic Traits

RNAissance Ag has proven that our RNA technology can be expressed in GMO tobacco plants and demonstrates a lethal response against tobacco hornworm, a Lepidoptera pest. RNAissance Ag offers this technology for license.


RNAissance Ag has a proprietary microbial platform to manufacture double-stranded RNA at under $1-$2 a gram, at commercial scale. We are not currently manufacturing dsRNA as a service, but are interested in finding partners who have a need for inexpensive dsRNA to enable their technology concepts.

Aquaculture Health

RNAissance Ag is designing dsRNA to target White Spot Syndrome Virus in shrimp, which accounts for $1B in annual losses. Research is underway to incorporate our dnRNA into shrimp feed to target WSSV as well as other viral challenges, like Hemocyte Iridescent Virus. Current research with partners addresses dsRNA stability in water and as a granule, dosing and other factors. 
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram