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Stopping the spread of Zika with mutant mosquitoes

As the Zika virus spreads across the Americas, investors are turning their attention to U.S. companies developing treatments, vaccines or other products tied to the mosquito-borne disease.

With no vaccines or treatments for Zika, which has been linked to a surge in babies born with unusually small heads, researchers are scrambling to find ways to stop the threat.

The company Oxitec, a subsidiary of biotech firm Intrexon, is currently in the spotlight for producing genetically modified mosquitoes that can be used as a tool to compete with normal Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmit the virus.

"We think we have the only proven, practical and ready-to-deploy solution," Intrexon CEO Randal Kirk said Friday on CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Oxitec is able to breed male mosquitoes that stop the spread of Zika by passing along a gene to their offspring that makes...


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