Face Mask That Kills Swine Flu Readied for Fight Against Pandemic



    HONG KONG, April 27 /CNW/ -- Filligent, the Hong Kong-based biotech
company, is mobilizing stocks of its anti-infective BioMask to help combat the
global spread of the deadly new Mexican strain of Influenza A. The BioMask is
the first medical face mask to kill the Influenza A virus within seconds of
contact while retaining the breathability required by front-line workers and
children, who are often the first to fall in a contagious episode.
"Humanitarian organizations and governments are on the front line of
containing infection, especially among children," says CEO Melissa Mowbray-
d'Arbela. "We're allocating our resources to respond to their needs. The
BioMask was designed specifically for situations like this."
    According to pandemic experts, an effective face mask, like the germ-
killing BioMask, could reduce the number of cases from one million to just
six, in the first months of a pandemic. To date, the new strain of swine flu
has killed more than 81 people in Mexico and spread to the United States and,
by air travel, to New Zealand. Containment is critical. "We need to buy people
time in order for anti-virals or vaccines to be delivered or, in the case of
drug resistance, to be developed," says Filligent's CEO. The CE-certified
BioMask, which kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses on contact, is a powerful
weapon to contain the spread of the swine flu, a strain of Influenza A.
    The Influenza A virus can stay alive on hands and surfaces for hours if
not days. Human-to-human transfer also occurs by touching contaminated
surfaces. The self-sanitizing BioMask reduces the risk of cross-contamination
by continuously killing germs. Since it remains germ-free after being touched,
the BioMask is especially suitable for use by children, who tend to be both
careless and fidgety when wearing a face mask.
    Filligent designed the BioMask to withstand the rigours of pandemic
logistics. Apart from being as affordable as standard masks, it is resistant
to fungal contamination and extreme conditions, including humidity, heat or
cold. It is flat-packed and can be surge manufactured. "We are working with
retailers and humanitarian organizations to get the BioMask and our other
anti-infective products out to people as soon as possible."
    
    About the BioMask
    
    The BioMask is based on an "intelligent filtration" technology and is
fabricated from a scientifically designed and tested multilayer material which
has in its internal structure a unique active layer which has highly targeted
anti-microbial properties. This active layer aggressively detects, traps, and
then rapidly kills pathogens, within minutes of contact.
    This patented BioFriend(TM) textile layer CAPTURES pathogens by mimicking
the sites on human cells to which they normally attach, then DESTROYS them by
disrupting their surfaces (viruses) and cell walls (bacteria). Many viruses,
including influenza viruses, are known to bind to a terminal sialic acid
residue on the surface of the human cell membrane. The binding agent in the
BioFriend(TM) textile mimics the binding action of sialic acid on influenza
viruses.
    Typical face masks (including standard surgical masks and N95s) do not
kill airborne pathogens. They are based on a passive mechanical filtration
design only. Thus, microbes on or inside the mask can stay alive for many
hours, greatly increasing the likelihood of cross-contamination. When compared
to the tight-fitting N95 face mask, the BioMask is far superior in terms of
efficacy, comfort and breathability.
    As part of the CE testing process, the BioMask was sprayed with live
aerosolized Influenza A virus equivalent to 50 times the amount contained in a
normal sneeze. (The Mexican swine flu is a strain of the Influenza A virus.)
More than 99.9% of the viruses were killed after less than one minute. Similar
tests were conducted on other key pathogens, with similar results. When the
BioMask was tested in terms of all the major routes of exposure, oral and
dermal, it showed no harmful effects on humans. The BioMask has been tested
for dermal biocompatibility following internationally recognized standards set
out in ISO10933: Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices. Tests were
conducted to evaluate cytotoxicity to cells, skin irritation on contact, and
skin sensitization after repeated contact. No cytotoxicity, irritation or
incidence of sensitization was observed.
    The BioMask is the first in a series of new products in Filligent's anti-
microbial personal care range, BioFriend(TM), launching this year. By
complying with the European Community's Medical Devices Directive 93/42/EEC,
Filligent has met the stringent EU requirements for design, efficacy and
safety of its innovative, germ-killing BioMask.
    
    About BioFriend(TM)
    
    In 2008, Filligent developed a revolutionary technology, called
BioFriend(TM), which kills viruses and bacteria on contact. BioFriend's
molecular technology can be applied to substrates such as rayon and cotton
textile fiber. BioFriend(TM) captures pathogens by mimicking the sites on
human cells to which they normally attach, then, destroys them by disrupting
their surfaces (viruses) and cell walls (bacteria). BioFriend(TM) kills germs
including those that cause Influenza A (including pandemic strains such as the
Mexican swine flu), Herpes Simplex, rhinovirus, common colds, measles,
pneumonia, SARS, tuberculosis, streptococcus, and MRSA. By targeting only the
dangerous elements, BioFriend's intelligent filtration technology optimizes
breathability and comfort. With its ability to kill a broad range of microbes,
while applied to various substrates, BioFriend(TM) naturally lends itself to
wide application across consumer products. BioFriend(TM) not only contains and
protects against infection, but keeps items of everyday personal use, prone to
bacterial and viral contamination, safe and clean.
    
    About Filligent
    
    Filligent is a Hong Kong biotech company that develops advanced and
affordable 'intelligent filtration' technologies designed to combat the
transmission of diseases. Using biochemistry at the molecular level, its
proprietary technologies seek out dangerous pathogens and chemicals, from air,
water, and from off surfaces - including the human skin, killing or
inactivating them before they enter the human body. Filligent provides
ordinary people with affordable and advanced protective devices against
infectious or other diseases. Filligent gives people Health Choices.

    
    For more information, contact:
    

    
     Ms. Joanne Ooi
     Chief Marketing Officer
     Filligent Limited
     +852-2542-2400
     Joanne.ooi@filligent.com

    




For further information:

For further information: Joanne Ooi of Filligent Limited,
+852-2542-2400, Joanne.ooi@filligent.com

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