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Marrone Bio's anti-virus chemical for ag surfaces gets US EPA approvalqrcode

Mar. 24, 2020

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Mar. 24, 2020
Davis-based Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. said it received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to allow a sanitizer the company makes to be used against human coronaviruses on hard surfaces.

The EPA on Friday released a long list of approved products that it deemed effective in killing the virus on hard surfaces.

Marrone’s (Nasdaq: MBII) product, Jet-Oxide 15, may have an advantage in that it is effective with a minute-long exposure. Other chemicals, including bleach and hydrogen peroxide, can require exposure of 10 minutes to be effective, according to the EPA.

“That’s the beauty of it. It’s fast,” said Marrone Bio founder and CEO Pam Marrone in an interview.

The liquid treatment can be used on agricultural equipment such as greenhouse benches, farm equipment, tabletops and irrigation equipment, Marrone said.

Marrone Bio’s labs are still open because the company is considered a critical agricultural supplier, Marrone said. She said her employees are using protective equipment and practicing social distancing.

Marrone was seeking approval for Jet-Oxide to sanitize industrial food and agricultural hard surfaces. The allowed use was based on a study conducted by the EPA with Human Coronavirus Strain 229E, which is associated with the common cold in people.

Marrone got the rights to Jet-Oxide in a purchase last year. In the fall, Marrone paid $2.5 million for all rights to fungicide Jet Ag and sanitizer Jet-Oxide from Longwood, Florida-based Jet Harvest Solutions.

Marrone said Jet-Oxide is cost competitive with other solutions and it remains available in the agricultural supply chain.

Like bleach and other oxygenates, it is corrosive, so it has to be used carefully, but it is fully biodegradable, Marrone said.

Marrone Bio’s primary business is developing and selling biologically based products that kill pests without harsh chemicals.

By Mark Anderson

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