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HeiQ Fast-Tracks Textile Tech Effective Against Coronavirus

Moved to action by the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Swiss textile technology and solutions provider HeiQ has developed HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03, an antiviral and antimicrobial textile treatment that testing has shown to be highly effective against coronavirus.

HeiQ said Viroblock NPJ03 significantly enhances the effectiveness of untreated face masks, reducing virus infectivity by more than 99.99 percent.

“Virologist Dr. Thierry Pelet of HeiQ’s scientific advisory board brought us a profound depth of knowledge and accelerated our efforts to address the urgent problem of a global pandemic,” Carlo Centonze, HeiQ Group CEO, said. “Our goal is to prevent textiles from becoming a host surface for propagating harmful viruses and bacteria, and contribute to reduce the risk and speed of contamination and transmission.”

According to the World Health Organization, the incubation period for the new novel coronavirus ranges from one to 14 days. Social distancing and wearing face masks are common measures people are taking around the world to avoid spreading the virus.

Chinese protective masks producer Suzhou Bolisi is the lead adopter of HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03. Treated masks will be available on the market next month.

U.S. legwear manufacturer Kayser-Roth is planning to add the technology to its new product, Ghluv hands protector, while Lufeng from China is evaluating the technology on other types of fabric used for garments.

“I’m impressed by HeiQ’s ability to fast track such a complex innovation and bring this breakthrough to globally critical products in short time,” Pelet said.

HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 is a unique combination of vesicle and silver technologies designed to inhibit the growth and persistence of bacteria and viruses. The HeiQ vesicle technology targets lipid-enveloped viruses, such as coronavirus, providing rapid virus deactivation, while the HeiQ silver technology inhibits the replication of bacteria and viruses.

HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 can be applied to a wide spectrum of textile surfaces, including face masks, air filters, medical gowns, curtains and drapes. HeiQ also has a range of highly wash-durable antimicrobial and odor control textile technologies, called HeiQ Pure, combining silver-based and bio-based materials for all fabric types.

Beside testing on coronavirus, HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 also demonstrates dramatically improved reduction of virus infectivity against Influenza types H1N1, H5N1, H7N9 and Respiratory Syncytial Virus.