history of S Meth header

History of (S)-Methoprene

Our history began more than 50 years ago as public interest increased over the safety of common pesticides. A group of researchers founded Zoëcon (Greek for “life control”) in the late 1960’s with a goal of discovering “a more environmentally sensitive way of stopping insects from spreading disease and causing economic damage. What they developed would revolutionize insect control forever, and would establish the foundation for a comprehensive line of IGR technology that includes methoprene, hydroprene and kinoprene.


Syntex established headquarters near Stanford University as the company entered the American pharma market.


Syntex expanded research into insects as a group of biochemists, led by Peter Karlson, discovered that molting from one life stage to another is governed by the hormone ecdysone. Among the team was John Sidall, who eventually became Zoëcon’s director of research.

Mid 1960s

The discovery of ecdysone offered a new approach to insect control: instead of “poisoning the bug” it was possible to “interfere with a natural process necessary for survival.”


Djerassi’s team founded Zoëcon, “the first company dedicated solely to the development of new approaches to insect control.”


Zoëcon patented a highly efficacious JHA, isopropyl 11-methoxy 3,7,11 trimethyldodeca-2, 4-dienoate. This compound, methoprene, became the first commercial Insect Growth Disruptor (IGD).


In March, racemic methoprene, as Altosid SR-10 Insect Growth Regulator (IGR), subsequently designated Altosid Liquid Larvicide, received full commercial registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as a larvicide for the control of floodwater mosquitoes.


Feed-through horn fly control for cattle featuring (S)-methoprene was approved by the EPA.


After testing the effects of methoprene on cigarette beetles, Zoëcon received approval for the first ever application of an IGR as a crop protection solution. This paved the way for the successful Diacon IGR line of stored commodity protectants.


To this day, (S)-methoprene remains one of the best and most widely used IGR technologies available, featured in various products across all markets we serve.