Sunday, December 20, 2009

Germ-Killing Fabric

(Post: English)
"At least 1.7 million U.S. patients contract infections in hospitals each year, claiming 100,000 lives and costing $30 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control."

Orlando entrepreneur Ben Favret, a business-side veteran of biotech startups and pharma companies like Pfizer, hopes to reduce those numbers with a new type of fabric for hospital garments, curtains, linens, and furniture.

The material, dubbed Vestex, is coated with an antimicrobial to kill germs. It also repels fluids while remaining breathable enough to wear.

Favret, 44, licensed the technology from Swiss textile giant Schoeller in mid-2008 and formed Vestagen to commercialize the fabric.

The material doesn't need approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, but the company is running clinical trials nonetheless to prove medical benefits.

Favret funded Vestagen out of his own pocket before raising $2 million in May from V10 Capital Partners in Richmond Va.

The company, now with six employees, expects to have initial trial results this fall. After that it will take its first scrubs and lab coats, manufactured at plants in Massachusetts and India, to market.

Source: BusinessWeek

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