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ViraCoat PPE Mask range begins killing SARS-CoV-2 on contact

Lancaster-based ViraCoat Limited has announced the global launch of ViraCoat 3 Ply Type 2R Surgical Face Mask, ViraCoat FFP2 Respirator Mask and ViraCoat FFP3 Respirator mask, a new range of antiviral and antimicrobial personal protective equipment (PPE) masks that begin to kill SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses on contact. This is a major breakthrough in reducing risks, to staff and patients, of COVID-19, as there is a significant reduction in contamination risk during handling of masks while in use. They are also said to reduce costs, because there is no need to change masks multiple times per working shift. The product has gone through rigorous validation with Lancaster University and is now going into production in the UK.

The ViraCoat masks are impregnated with a novel and patented antiviral and antimicrobial coating that completely kills SARS-CoV-2 virus within minutes. The entire surface of the mask is covered in the antimicrobial coating, including the straps. This significantly reduces the risk of contamination during handling of the masks and therefore transfer of the virus to the wearer or patient, even if the mask is removed and replaced several times during a shift. 

The masks are ergonomically shaped for comfort and have an adjustable nose bridge for an optimal seal to prevent contamination by infectious aerosols - tiny virus particles that linger in the air and are now widely accepted as a source of coronavirus infections not screened by surgical style masks. They are a distinctive green colour to easily differentiate from standard PPE. 

At this stage the ViraCoat antimicrobial coating is being applied to masks conforming to the filter-barrier requirements of EU Standard EN149:2001 + A1: 2009 type filtering efficiency standard to meet current regulations. However, the coating obviates the need for these types of barriers and new standards are being sought that will allow ViraCoat antimicrobial masks to be a lighter, more comfortable single layer, which can be repeatedly washed or sterilised. 

Dr Muhammad Munir, Chief Scientific Officer at ViraCoat’s parent company ViraCorp and Lecturer in Molecular Virology at Lancaster University, said: “The ViraCoat anti-microbial coating kills not only SARS-CoV-2 but also influenza and potentially other viruses. It has already been tested as effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants first identified in UK (alpha), South Africa (beta), Brazil (gamma) and India (delta). The moulded design also ensures an effective seal against ingress or egress of virus particles around the mask.”

The masks will be in UK production at scale in October with the highest standards of quality control.

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