Materials maker Ascend Performance Materials is seeking approvals for a technology that officials said can deactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.
In a June 30 news release, officials with Houston-based Ascend said that the firm — a leading maker of nylon 6/6 resins and compounds — has submitted its first FDA 510(k) for clearance to market its patent-pending Acteev technology in the U.S. in a surgical mask. Technology used in the mask would be marketed under the Acteev Biodefend brand name.
Independent laboratory testing has found Acteev nylon 6/6 fabric made by Ascend achieves more than 99 percent efficacy at deactivating bacteria, fungi and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, according to the company.
"We've partnered with independent labs for comprehensive testing and have reallocated resources to ready ourselves for world-scale production upon receiving regulatory clearance," Chief Technology Officer Vikram Gopal said.
Acteev technology embeds active zinc ions into the matrix of a specialty polymer. Acteev Biodefend technology has been shown in lab tests to deactivate SARS-CoV2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and other pathogens including H1N1, staphylococcus and E. coli, Gopal said.
"What is unique about Acteev is the marriage between the antimicrobial ingredients and the polymer," he added. "Because it isn't a simple topical finish or coating, the antimicrobial protection can last much longer. It will not flake off or be worn away."
"And, unlike some other antimicrobials, zinc is environmentally friendly," he said.
Acteev technology has been tested in multiple end forms, including knit and woven fabrics; engineered plastics; and nanofiber, meltblown and spunbond nonwoven materials, officials said. The technology "could provide an answer to the calls to identify an immediate, positive solution to restart the economy and reopen our schools and universities safely," Gopal added.
"The current global scarcity of pathogen-resistant materials is not going to end unless scientists and engineers look for novel ways to face the challenge," he said. "We are proud to submit Acteev Biodefend as a potential solution."
Earlier this month, Ascend launched Acteev Protect, an antimicrobial line of protection formulated to guard against the growth of fungi, bacteria and other microbes on textiles and nonwoven fabrics. Officials said that Acteev Protect can be used to make face coverings, filtration devices, and textiles for upholstery and apparel.
Ascend employs 2,600 and operates nine global locations, including five fully integrated manufacturing facilities in the southeastern U.S. and a compounding plant in the Netherlands.