Oxitec has already created gene-engineered mosquitoes to deal with the Zika virus.
In some areas, the wild populations of Aedes aegypti (the mosquito that carries Zika) have been reduced by 90 percent.
But the malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquitoes require a new genetically-modified breed to mate with.
Oxitec’s killer sex mosquitoes are expected to be ready for trials by the end of 2020.
However, not everyone is happy about the prospect of genetically-modified mosquitoes being used to prematurely terminate their offspring.
Oxitec’s work has been heavily criticized by Friends of the Earth, a charity dedicated to protecting the environment.
Back in 2012, Friends of the Earth’s Eric Hoffman said: “Trials of its mosquitoes must not move forward in the absence of comprehensive and impartial reviews of the environmental, human health and ethical risks.”
In a statement at the time, Friends of the Earth said: “The GM mosquitoes are intended to reduce the wild population by mating with naturally occurring mosquitoes and producing progeny which don’t survive, thus reducing the population and therefore the transmission of the tropical disease dengue fever.”
“The company has been widely criticized for putting its commercial interests ahead of public and environmental safety. Its first releases of GM mosquitoes took place controversially in the Cayman Islands, where there is no biosafety law or regulation.”
“Oxitec staff have been closely involved in developing risk assessment guidelines for GM insects worldwide, leading to concerns about lack of independent scrutiny and conflict of interest.”
But Bill Gates is a long-time supporter of Oxitec’s work.
Back in 2010, he gave $4.9 million to Oxitec to help fund early work on killer mosquito projects.
He has extensively funded work on eradicating malaria, a disease that kills around 440,000 people every year.
Complications that threaten human life including swelling of the blood vessels in the brain, a build-up of fluid in the lungs, organ failure (of the kidneys, liver or spleen, anemia and low blood sugar.)