On 12th February, Corteva announced the launch of Onmira™ active, the new global trade name of picoxystrobin, which is a highly active strobilurin fungicide developed by Syngenta.
In 2006, Syngenta sold its global picoxystrobin product rights to DuPont, now known as Corteva. Through a series of global registrations and the development of formulation products, Al Duraihimi gave picoxystrobin a new lease of life, making it the company’s second largest product after chlorantraniliprole.
In 2016, global sales of picoxystrobin reached $320 million, ranking as one of the top 15 fungicides in the world, and is the only fungicide with a compound annual growth rate of over 10% from 2011 to 2016.
Picoxystrobin is currently already off patent in China. However, Chinese manufacturers are still hesitating with regards to its future market development. In 2017, picoxystrobin’s registration was not renewed in the EU. Despite this, DuPont recently launched picoxystrobin and its various formulations in the Chinese market, leading to the growth of the product’s market share. Meanwhile, South American markets, especially Brazil, have been constantly developing, creating opportunities for marketing picoxystrobin outside the EU.
Most systemic strobilurin fungicide
With the CAS No. 117428-22-5, picoxystrobin is a strobilurin fungicide developed by Syngenta.
The chemical structure of Picoxystrobin
Picoxystrobin is a systemic strobilurin fungicide, which inhibits mitochondrial respiration by blocking the electron transfer of cytochrome bc1 Qo, being both preventive and curative. It is applied worldwide on crops such as soybean, grain, corn and rape. Compared to existing strobilurin fungicides, picoxystrobin has a stronger curative effect on wheat leaf blight, net blotch and cloud spot.
Commercial application history of picoxystrobin
In 2001, Syngenta launched a picoxystrobin product under the trade name, Acanto, which is mainly used on barley, apple and some niche crops where azoxystrobin is not effective. Syngenta was granted registrations in most of European countries. However, its market position was restricted due to the impact of azoxystrobin.
In 2006, Syngenta transferred the rights to picoxystrobin to DuPont. In the same year, DuPont launched, in Brazil, Aproach Prima, a product formulated from picoxystrobin and cyproconazole and used to control soybean rust. As a result, the product’s strong market position was established in Brazil.
DuPont has continued to expand in the Brazilian market through its innovative mixtures using picoxystrobin. In light of DuPont's further development efforts, sales of picoxystrobin increased considerably, which brought the product a new vibrancy. Picoxystrobin has been granted registrations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Austria, France, Kenya and Brazil. Its product mixes include cyprodinil, chlorothalonil, simeconazole, hexaconazole, fenpropimorph, propiconazole, propiconazole+fenpropidin, cyproconazole, benzovindiflupyr and penthiopyrad.
Due to its large scale application on soybean in Brazil and other regions, the market in Latin America has become picoxystrobin’s largest regional market. In 2015, sales of picoxystrobin in Latin America totaled US$135 million, accounting for 40.9% of the market’s total value of $330 million. Soybean is the main crop that picoxystrobin is used on. In 2015, sales of picoxystrobin used on soybean was valued at $127 million, accounting for 38.5% of the total market value, followed by grains, corn, rape, fruits and vegetables, rice, cotton, sunflower and sugar beet. Picoxystrobin is also widely used in non-agricultural sectors, with sales of $142 million in 2015, accounting for 43.2% of the total market value.
Development of picoxystrobin in China
The EU patent (EP 0278595) and US patent (US 5021581) of picoxystrobin expired in 2008, while its novel pesticide (active ingredient) protection period in China expired on 21st June, 2018, and its technical material full registration protection period expired on 5th November, 2018.
In 2012, DuPont was granted the registration of picoxystrobin technical 97% in China. Currently, ten domestic Chinese enterprises have been granted registrations of picoxystrobin, all of which have a content of 97%.
In terms of formulations, in China on 19th June, 2016, DuPont was granted registration of picoxystrobin·propiconazole SC 19% (propiconazole 12% + picoxystrobin 7%), under the trade name, Fatuo, for application on peanut and wheat. In early April 2017, the use of the product was extended to rice for controlling rice sheath blight and rice false smut. Fatuo is DuPont's first fungicide applied on field crops in China, which is effective in controlling peanut brown spot and rust, wheat rust, rice sheath blight and false smut. The launch of Fatuo is a new driver of the growth of picoxystrobin in the global market.
As the patent of picoxystrobin in China expired not long ago and the product was not renewed in the EU, Chinese enterprises have adopted a wait and see attitude towards its development and exportation. To this end, the scale-up export of the product’s technical materials was not established in the 2018-2019 season.
In 2017, the European Commission rejected the registration of the fungicidal active ingredient, picoxystrobin, and required EU member states to revoke products containing picoxystrobin with a deadline of 30th November, 2017, with the buffer period until 30th November, 2018.
According to the European Commission, during their assessment, they identified the following risks related to picoxystrobin:
- The teratogenicity and cytogenotoxicity of its metabolite, IN-H8612, cannot be ignored.
- Exposure to the metabolite, IN-QDY63, is highly risky to aquatic organisms, earthworms and mammals that feed on earthworms.
- Other circumstances that are not determinable.