Medical products maker Cantel Medical Corp. has purchased an equity stake in Biosafe Inc., a maker of antimicrobial polymer additives based in Pittsburgh.
The amount or size of the investment wasn't revealed in an Oct. 22 news release from the two firms. Cantel's Crosstex International Inc. unit recently commercialized a medical mask that uses Biosafe's antimicrobial additive. In tests, the mask killed at least 98.5 percent of trapped viruses and bacteria within five minutes of contact.
This unique additive has become an important component of our strategic plan to invest more aggressively in research and development, Cantel CEO Andrew Krakauer said in the release. He added that Cantel is working to incorporate Biosafe into other products as well.
Biosafe's new chemistry has yielded an additive that is faster-acting and more effective than conventional antimicrobials, Biosafe CEO Max Fedor said in the release. The additive is unique in providing permanent protection of plastics and nonwoven fabrics, he added.
The introduction of the ultrasensitive face mask is the first large-scale international launch of a product using Biosafe's additives, according to Donnie Wagner, Biosafe's vice president of business development.
The mask is made of a spunbond polymer material that then is treated with the Biosafe additive in an aqueous polymer dispersion. The mask is effective against H1N1 (swine flu) and other Influenza A viruses, as well as a range of other microorganisms, officials said.
Crosstex makes the mask at its plant in Hauppage, N.Y., where the unit is based. Other Crosstex products include sterilization pouches and accessories, patient towels and bibs, needles, syringes, scalpels and blades.
Biosafe was founded in 2002 and has done contract work for the U.S. Army. The firm employs 15 and is owned by angel investors and company management. No annual sales estimate was available.
Biosafe works with contract manufacturers to produce its antimicrobial additives. The firm's products available in dispersion, powder or pellet concentrate form impart permanent biostatic properties to the surfaces of many materials. In addition to medical products, target markets for Biosafe include building products such as wallboard, flooring, roofing, decks, as well as electronic/human interfaces like keyboards, ATM machines and airport kiosks.
Compounder RTP Co. of Winona, Minn., uses Biosafe additives in antimicrobial compounds based on nylon, acrylic and thermoplastic polyurethane.
Publicly held Cantel makes infection prevention and control products based in Little Falls, N.J. The firm has annual sales of about $260 million. Its products include systems for renal dialysis and specialty packaging for infectious and biological specimens.
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