Tests at Shanghai’s Micro Spectrum lab (Weipu Jishu) confirm the patented anti-bacterial fabric, developed by Israeli startup Sonovia, is also effective against the COVID-19, the company announced. The tests were performed in accordance with international standards for determining the antiviral activity of textile products, Sonovia said in a statement.
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The reusable mask is coated in zinc oxide nanoparticles that destroy viruses, bacteria, and fungi can help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The masks can be washed up to 100 times.
Founded in 2014 under the name Nano-Textile by Shay Hershcovich, and Shuki Hershcovich, Sonovia has raised $14.5 million to date from Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research and innovation program.
The company had originally intended to enter primarily the hospital market and offer anti-bacterial sheets, but since the coronavirus outbreak, it has pivoted and began to make masks.
SonoMask was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for distribution and sale for personal use in the United States. The company is still in the process of obtaining FDA approval for the institutional market, to be used by hospital medical staff.
According to Reuters, the fabric can also be used in textiles for protective equipment, and clothing, in hospitals. It will soon be 99% (not “just” more than 90 percent) effective against coronavirus.
The new results from the Chinese lab, is a follow test conducted at Austria’s HygCen medical lab using the Vaccinia virus, which has similar properties to the SARS-COVID family and showed “a good virucidal effect”, according to the lab report.
Sonovia, is also awaiting a significant series of tests in German government-certified laboratory, Goldhammer.
The company is planning to go public on Nasdaq in 2020.
Asaf Levy, Sonovia’s vice president for sales and operations, told Reuters said Ernst & Young is preparing a valuation and the company is talking with U.S. and Asian investors regarding participation in the planned stock market offering.