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 them die young. Currently, tests are being conducted in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands to cut down the targeted Aedes aegypti mosquito population.