ZURICH, March 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — HeiQ, winner of the Swiss Technology Award and Swiss Environmental Award, launches HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03, an antiviral and antimicrobial textile treatment tested effective against coronavirus.
From left: Carlo Centonze, Dr. Thierry Pelet holding the first prototype of HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 treated face masks
For 15 years, HeiQ has forged a solid innovation track record helping brands improve textile products. Catalyzed to action by the global fight against Coronavirus, HeiQ launches HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 (Viroblock), an antiviral and antimicrobial textile treatment which has proven effective against human coronavirus (229E) in face mask testing, significantly enhancing the antiviral log reduction from 2.90 of untreated face masks to 4.48, over 99.99% reduction of virus infectivity. (Remarks: a log reduction of 2 is equivalent to 100 times the effectiveness.)
"Virologist Dr. Thierry Pelet of HeiQ’s Scientific Advisory Board brought us a depth of knowledge and accelerated our efforts to address the urgent problem of a global pandemic," says Carlo Centonze, HeiQ Group CEO. "Our goal is to prevent textiles from becoming a host surface for propagating harmful viruses and bacteria, and contribute to reduce the risk and speed of contamination and transmission."
According to the World Health Organization, the incubation period for COVID-19 ranges from 1-14 days. Social distancing and wearing a mask are common measures that people in areas like South Korea and Taiwan take to avoid spreading the virus. Chinese protective masks producer Suzhou Bolisi is the lead adopter of Viroblock. Treated masks will be available as early as this April. Many international textile producers such as American legwear manufacturer Kayser-Roth and Lufeng from China are evaluating Viroblock on other types of textile products.
"I’m impressed by HeiQ’s ability to fast track such a complex innovation and bring this breakthrough to globally critical products in short time," said Dr. Pelet.
Viroblock is a unique combination of vesicle and silver technologies designed to inhibit the growth and persistence of bacteria and viruses. The HeiQ vesicle technology targets lipid-enveloped viruses, such as coronavirus, providing rapid virus deactivation, while the HeiQ silver technology inhibits the replication of both bacteria and viruses. Viroblock can be applied to a wide spectrum of textile surfaces including face masks, air filters, medical gowns, curtains and more.
Viroblock demonstrates dramatically improved reduction of virus infectivity against Influenza types H1N1, H5N1, H7N9, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
Founded in 2005 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), HeiQ is a leader in textile innovation creating some of the most effective, durable and high-performance textile technologies on the market today. HeiQ’s purpose is to improve the lives of billions of people by perfecting an everyday product: Textiles. Combining three areas of expertise – scientific research, specialty materials manufacturing and consumer ingredient branding — HeiQis the ideal innovation partner to create differentiating and sustainable textile products and capture the added value at the point of sale.
HeiQ Materials AG
8952 Schlieren (Zurich)
Hoi Kwan Lam
Chief Marketing Officer
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