Materials tech startup Xefco launches joint venture to produce Covid-killing face masks
Sydney-based materials technology company Xefco is launching a joint venture to produce breakthrough masks capable of killing the Covid-19 virus in minutes.
Xefco has developed masks coated with an ultra-thin layer of copper in collaboration with Deakin University. Studies from the Doherty Institute have found that patent-pending technology has the ability to inactivate bacteria and viruses, including coronaviruses, within 5 minutes. The coating does not affect the feel, breathability or weight of the mask.
The new company, ‘Survivon Ltd’, is an ASX-listed joint venture with PPK, which has acquired a factory on the Gold Coast with the capacity to produce around five million masks per month.
The masks will first be distributed in the Australian market, then in Europe and other territories.
Xefco CEO and co-founder Tom Hussey said the rapid effectiveness of the coating, called MetalliX, is unprecedented.
“MetalliX destroys the virus in minutes while other existing treatments can take hours. We are incredibly excited to see the first use of MetalliX technology in real applications that will help fight this devastating virus where minutes really matter, ”he said.
“MetalliX can be applied to a wide range of materials, including those that are difficult to process using conventional finishing methods, opening up new possibilities for personal protective equipment (PPE), medical textiles and filtration. air helping defense against COVID-19.
“Mask production is just the start – we hope to deploy the coating treatment on other critical materials such as surgical gowns, sheets and curtains as well as air filters in hotels, airplanes and restaurants. “
Xefco, founded in 2018, specializes in innovative coating technologies for the textile industry. He was working with the fashion and outerwear markets before seeing a new opportunity as the coronavirus pandemic struck to develop antimicrobial treatments, working with the Institute for Frontier Materials at Deakin University.
The Doherty Institute tested textiles treated with MetalliX at known infectious concentrations of Covid-19 for additional periods of time. The results revealed that the treated textiles deactivated the virus by 97.79% in five minutes and by 99.95% in 15 minutes with no infectious virus detectable on the textiles after 30 minutes.
The Survivon joint venture will see PPK contribute $ 4.5 million in cash as working capital, including for the purchase of the Brisbane mask factory, with Xefco assigning the intellectual property to the company and handling R&D on the new products. PPK will transfer ownership of the Mask Innovation business it acquired last month, at a valuation of $ 1.6 million, to Survivon.
Survivon will have a separate management team, led by CEO Matthew Bailey, with a board of four directors – two from PPK and Xefco each.
PPK Executive Chairman Robin Levison said the company is always on the lookout for new opportunities to support cutting-edge technologies, especially in nanotechnology.
“The ability to combine the manufacturing assets of PPK’s Mask Innovation business with cutting-edge science developed by Xefco in collaboration with Deakin University represents a tremendous opportunity for commercialization with global application,” he said. .
“It’s also incredibly timely and gives a likelihood of making a very practical and immediate difference in tackling one of the great health issues of our time.”