Making progress: Raymond Young with his specially-grown green papaya


A former Queenstowner’s closing in on his dream of using papaya leaf-extracted compound to combat the scourge of dengue fever.

Raymond Young’s Queenstown-based Fuller Young International (FYI) last month signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia’s University of Nottingham.

The research-intensive university will undergo rounds of clinical testing on people.

Once that’s completed, FYI will release capsules, initially in Malaysia and the wider South East Asia region.

Japan-based Young has grown his own variety of papaya, called Wakatengu, in both Japan and in Kerikeri, Northland, where it’s under the supervision of New Zealand’s Plant & Food Research.

University of Nottingham’s Dr Ching Lik Hii, who’s heading its research team, says there may be delays in the clinical trial due to hospitals coming under stress because of Covid.

Young, whose late father Ivan set up Frankton Zoological Gardens in the ’70s, attended the former Queenstown District High School in the ’60s.

He believes the capsule will combat dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus infecting almost 400 million people a year, and treat age-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia.