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MANCHESTER, England -- Byotrol, the Manchester-based company which last year launched a biocide that promised to take the battle against superbugs such as MRSA to a new level, has been granted a United Kingdom patent for its product, also called Byotrol. Patents also are pending in nine other countries including the U.S., Europe, Canada, Australia, China, India, Singapore and South Africa.
Byotrol offers a number of benefits over conventional bacteriocides because it can deal effectively with drug resistant strains, continues to be effective for up to seven days after application, is virtually harmless to humans and animals and is formulated from substances which have a very low environmental impact. It is effective against a variety of bacteria, algae, fungi and viruses including MRSA, SARS, Norwalk, TB, hepatitis, HIV-1, E. coli, legionella and listeria.
The chemicals used in the production of Byotrol are biocides, thus regulatory hurdles the company has to clear are less stringent than if they were bringing an entirely new compound to market. Byotrol is not a new compound, but is a new product architecture that dramatically improves the performance of existing substances.
Since its launch, the company has secured customers in the U.S., South Africa, Europe and Scandinavia with additional approvals within a number of other countries.
Byotrol has undergone numerous safety and efficacy tests as part of an ongoing approval process by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). The company is currently in the process of securing key additional regulatory approvals that will open up substantial further marketing opportunities.
Byotrol director and co-inventor Stephen Falder says, Byotrol represents a new approach to microbial control. The UK patent is a major milestone for us and we are well advanced with patent applications in a number of other territories. We have identified a significant demand for Byotrol and the level of customer interest to date highlights the commercial opportunity. We are now on the cusp of significant growth and we have appointed Merchant Capital to assist us in evaluating options to finance this growth.
Byotrol has a three-stage effect on bugs and it uses changes in surface tension as the basis of its attack on bacteria. Surface tension has a huge effect on small things and a small effect on big things. The effects of Byotrol on the bugs are deadly, but the process only has a measurable effect on the tiniest of living organisms and is therefore harmless to humans and animals. Byotrol interferes with the conditioning of the surface, such as a wall or table, before the bug lands, making it more difficult for the micro organism to settle on the surface and stay there and reproduce. When the bacteria secretes material in an attempt to form a biofilm, (i.e. what is needed for it to stick to the surface) the secretion compounds (proteins, polysaccharides or oily type materials) are all disrupted by the pervading surface tension regime, making it much more difficult or impossible for the bug to form a firm attachment to the surface.
Finally, the bug, in its weakened state, succumbs to the gentlest of biocidal action provided by the associated biocides contained within Byotrol. These are not heavy duty compounds, but when acting on such a tiny life form as a micro organism, they cause the bugs membrane to burst before it has a chance to reproduce.