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12th June 2020, Marseilles, France

Proneem launches first French anti-COVID-19 textile treatment

© Proneem.© Proneem.​

The French start-up, Proneem, with support from France Chimie and Novachim, reports it has manufactured a textile treatment with high antiviral activity that neutralizes the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 on textile surfaces. “A French breakthrough innovation,” the company says.

Proneem, a company specialized in functional technologies applied to textiles in industrial environments, combines ‘sustainable virtues’ with cutting-edge technologies to bring high added value to the textile industry in the way of antibacterial, anti-dust mite and anti-insect properties.

The company, says it is at the forefront of innovation, led by Nathalie Hagege, who holds a doctorate in molecular biology and immunology. “Proneem’s manufacturing processes are based on microencapsulation and its major R&D investment currently make it the only international company to hold a Marketing Authorization (EC number: 283-644-7, FR-2018-0028) for a biocidal treatment to functionalize textile articles intended for domestic use that come into contact with the skin,” Proneem adds.

Natalie Hagege. © Proneem.Natalie Hagege. © Proneem.

“In this pandemic period, Proneem’s experts, supported by France Chimie and Novachim, have applied their expertise to combatting Covid-19 by developing the only French textile treatment with high antiviral activity, with proven efficacy on SARS-CoV-2. Tested by an independent French laboratory*, the technology forms a lasting and permanent barrier that neutralizes the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 on textile surfaces.”

“This innovative treatment, VIRALSTOP, combines the antiviral properties of zinc pyrithione and zinc oxide (ZnO) with other active ingredients, by preventing many viruses such as coronaviruses replicating and by damaging the viral envelope. Tested on samples of different types of textiles, it is currently the only French treatment tested on the SARS-CoV-2 strain shown to be effective in neutralizing the virus. Its virucidal action reduces the viral population by more than 99.99%**, increases the textile’s protection level and limits transmission of the virus. A major innovation. It should be remembered that infected surfaces represent a major vector for contamination and transmission, and that the new coronavirus appears to survive from several hours to several days on textile surfaces.”

"Proneem’s collaboration with Chimie France and Novachim is enabling innovation to progress faster and puts French R&D at the forefront. Indeed, for the first time in France, it has been possible to conduct tests on the SARS-CoV-2 strain, proving the performance of a treated textile. With an effective active ingredient and documented textile impregnation systems, we have proved that it is possible to create textiles able to destroy the virus" explains Nathalie Hagege, Founder and President of Proneem.

© Proneem.© Proneem.

The researcher, who was a member of the expert committee that drew up the AFNOR document on sanitary masks, is now working to optimise all textile and non-textile materials

(including nonwoven fabrics) to combat all coronaviruses, including Covid-19, actively. The idea: to enable the manufacture of French anti-Covid-19 textile and non-textile equipment that is easy to use, reusable, competitively priced and accessible to all, which would provide maximum protection for the whole population while also overcoming the risks from shortages of certain materials.

"Today, as we begin to exit lockdown, with activity resuming in various business sectors, it is essential to optimize the performance of sanitary and surgical masks with impregnation systems to provide maximum safety. I am thinking of all the industries, such as tourism or the events sector, that have to be organized differently and relaunch their activities with preventive measures and safety. And I’m also thinking about all the mothers who aren’t sending their children to school out of fear they will catch or pass on Covid-19. With thisinnovation, my overriding aim is to provide a solution to an unprecedented problem that is bringing the global economy to a standstill. Wearing clothing able to neutralize the virus would go a long way towards overcoming the social distancing problem" adds Nathalie Hagege.

Functionalized textiles with anti-Covid-19 properties will be used to make gloves, masks and clothing able to neutralize the virus, which can therefore be used for long periods without fear of the infectivity of many viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, Proneem explains.

“It will also be possible to use VIRALSTOP technology in many applications: textile sprays with antiviral properties for the general public and the hotel sector (hotels, bed and breakfasts, holiday rentals, campsites), antiviral textile cleaners for industrial laundries, hospital laundries, dry cleaners, etc.,” Proneem continues.

“Wearing clothes with anti-Covid-19 properties would considerably enhance social distancing measures and issues for tourism and the events sector, currently cancelled or postponed. Beyond the current health crisis, by means of this breakthrough innovation, PRONEEM wishes to accelerate the development of functional textiles, reindustrialize the country and restore the opportunity for France to be a major player on the international scene,” the company concludes.

* VIBIOSPHEN, French medical biotechnology laboratory specialized in infectious diseases.

** Results of tests carried out on different synthetic and natural textile samples.

- Anti-viral effect on the SARS-CoV-2 strain: after 2 hours’ contact on treated textiles, in accordance with the ISO 18184 anti-viral standard, VIRAL STOP™ neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 strain responsible for Covid19 with 99.99% efficiency.

- Antibacterial effect: after contact with treated textiles, in accordance with the ISO 20743 standard against Gram + and Gram - bacteria responsible for pathogenic developments linked to nosocomial infections, VIRAL STOP™ neutralizes these bacteria with 99.99% effectiveness.


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