STERIFRE MEDICAL SEEKS EXPEDITED APPROVAL OF FAST DISINFECTANT SYSTEM FOR HEALTHCARE FACILITIES TO HELP IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
The AURA system uses a patented application of hydrogen peroxide to inactivate microorganisms; it can help address critical shortages and speed delivery of care
KIRKLAND, WASH. – March 26, 2020 – Sterifre Medical, Inc. has developed technology to help fight the spread of coronavirus and other contagious pathogens, and improve patient care at busy hospitals and medical centers via rapid, point-of-care, automated device disinfection.
“Our mission has always been to make healthcare safer,” said Mike Goonewardene, chief commercial officer at Sterifre, which is based in Kirkland, Washington, the epicenter of the United States’ first COVID-19 outbreak. “Seeing the devastating effects of this pandemic on family, friends and colleagues in our town fuels our efforts even more. For us this is personal, and we are committed to putting better tools in the hands of the healthcare workers that are on the front line.”
The company is working to obtain an expedited registration with the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates microbicides used for hospital disinfection. Sterifre is concurrently seeking EPA approval under the Emerging Viral Pathogens Program for inactivating SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
“We are on our way to obtaining these approvals for a broad set of efficacy claims, and the EPA is very focused on finding innovative solutions like our AURA system” explained Richard Shea, chief executive officer at Sterifre. "In the current crisis, we are working closely with leaders at the state and federal level to expedite the approval process so that we can get these important tools in the hands of healthcare workers as quickly as possible.”
Outmoded Approaches Don’t Meet Current Need
“Even under normal circumstances, an enormous amount of medical equipment is manually disinfected using chemical wipes multiple times each day,” Shea explained. “With increasing demand for urgent healthcare and concern for healthcare employee wellness, relying exclusively on this old-school approach is no longer practical.”
Currently, hospitals are experiencing shortages of disinfectant wipes and are having difficulty with reliably securing these products. There are only a small number of specialty wipe manufacturers in the U.S., and only a handful of brands are approved by the EPA for coronavirus in the healthcare setting, making shortages more prevalent.
“We’re hearing from hospitals, physicians and nurses that masks and gowns are in short supply and that hospital-grade disinfectant wipes and isopropyl alcohol are also facing critical shortages,” said Goonewardene. “One AURA system, with just one small case of AURA-D disinfectant cartridges, replaces up to 22 cases of disinfectant wipes.”
Another drawback of using the wipes is inefficiency. The traditional process is time-consuming, labor-intensive and only effective if the item is completely wetted with disinfectant and allowed to remain wet for up to 10 minutes. That slows down access to vital equipment, which can adversely affect patient care. According to a medically published journal article in JAMA, a recurrent disinfectant chemical exposure is potentially toxic to our overburdened caregivers on the frontline of this fight.
“There is no doubt that we can all agree that new thinking and new solutions are urgently needed,” Shea stated.
Fast, Automated Disinfection Slows the Spread of Germs, Increases Pace of Patient Care
Sterifre Medical’s AURA system enables fast and automated device disinfection at the point of care. AURA can be used on important medical equipment like thermometers, glucometers, otoscopes, stethoscopes, oximeters, pads/sensors, cords/cables and doppler probes. It also can disinfect radios, phones, tablets, remote controls and call buttons. Staff can also use AURA at end of shift to disinfect personal items like phones, keys, ID badges and jewelry, etc. Fast and accessible disinfecting is key to reducing the spread of disease.
“Our proprietary technology uses a well-recognized disinfectant that is consumed in the process, leaving no residual disinfectant on devices after disinfection,” Shea explained. AURA employs a patented application of hydrogen peroxide to create an environment that inactivates microorganisms including many multi-drug-resistant organisms.
Since the only byproduct of AURA is clean air, the system can be used at the patient’s bedside. It can also be placed on a countertop at the nurse’s station, in a utility room or stowed on a cart or a wall so it’s readily available. The unit can be rapidly deployed, needing only an electrical outlet – no plumbing connection is required.
Users can place items in AURA and press a button to start the system, freeing them up to tend to patient care or administrative duties. The system continuously monitors the treatment parameters and automatically indicates when disinfecting is completed.
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Sterifre Medical, Inc., is a privately held medical technology company located in Kirkland, Wash., focused on commercializing innovative, cost-effective, environmentally friendly approaches to protect patients and caregivers from the pathogenic organisms that contribute to complications associated with hospital-acquired infections that result in more than 100,000 annual deaths. Find the company online at www.sterifre.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements regarding Sterifre products, technological capabilities, product registration, and future business aspirations. All such statements are based upon current Sterifre expectations and involve a number of business and technical risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results described, implied or projected in any forward-looking statement, including, without limitation, regulatory approvals, unexpected changes in technologies, uncertainties inherent in product development and commercialization, intellectual property protection, and the ability of our products to gain market acceptance.