Andermatt Biocontrol AG of Grossdietwil, Switzerland, and Certis USA of Columbia, Md., have agreed to work together to develop and market new granulovirus insecticides for the North American fruit market.

The companies plan to develop new products that are more potent and broader spectrum than existing products, according to a news release.

They expect to launch the new insecticides beginning in 2012.

Certis already has a granulovirus product, Cyd-X, that was introduced in 2003. It targets codling moths in apple, pears and walnuts. It also has activity on closely related species, such as Oriental fruit moth, but is harmless to beneficial insects and other animals.

The product is derived from the Baculoviridae family.

It works on the guts of caterpillars, eventually spreading to other organs and causing death in five to 10 days. The larvae liquify or melt upon death, releasing the virus to infect other larvae.