The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted Kirkland-based Sterifre Medical Inc. registration to begin commercially deploying the company’s automated device disinfectant system to fight COVID-19 and other contagious pathogens, Sterifre announced today.
The Aura system is believed to be the first registered, automated, and point-of-care solution providing fast disinfection for noncritical medical devices and common articles used in health care, the company said in a news release. Aura replaces the need for manual disinfection with wipes, reducing exposure of health care workers and patients to pathogens that cause infections, and reducing waste from the almost 8 billion wipes U.S. hospitals discard annually, the company said.
The Aura system utilizes a patented application of hydrogen peroxide and activated oxygen to inactivate microorganisms that cause disease. The technology uses a well-recognized disinfectant that is consumed in the process, leaving no residual disinfectant. The only byproduct being clean air, Sterifre said. The system plugs in to a standard electrical outlet and takes up about the same counter space as a laptop computer.
Aura disinfection can be used on common medical equipment, including thermometers, glucometers, otoscopes, stethoscopes, oximeters, pads/sensors, cords/cables, doppler probes, and more, according to Mark Golkowski, co-inventor and professor/associate dean in the College of Engineering, Design, and Computing at the University of Colorado Denver.
The EPA regulates microbicides for hospital disinfection and its registration for Sterifre recognizes the company conducted extensive microbial testing using EPA-approved protocols. Sterifre also meets EPA approval requirements under the program for inactivating SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, because the system has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2, the company said.
“The EPA is very focused on providing access to innovative solutions like our Aura disinfection system. Our approval and subsequent filings are for a broad set of efficacy claims," Sterifre CEO Richard Shea said in the release. "We are working closely with health care leaders across the country to deploy Aura as quickly as possible.”
Sterifre, which launched in Kirkland in 2017, has 10 employees. It has raised $20 million in capital financing to date.