New spray, co-developed with the British Army and tested by LSTM, kills coronavirus in under 60 seconds

News article 17 Dec 2020
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Spray being tested in LSTM lab

An Essex inventor working alongside the British Army has created a ‘military grade’ disinfectant spray, tested by LSTM, which kills all coronavirus strains in less than one minute to 99.99% efficacy.

The VIRUSEND spray formula, developed by Michael Pritchard MBE in cojunction iwth innovation experts in the British Army, is proven to kill SARS-CoV-2 in under 60 seconds.

50,000+ bottles of the handheld disinfectant are being deployed to military personnel across the country who are working alongside the NHS at coronavirus testing stations as part of the military’s ongoing support to civil authorities. It is already being used at testing sites in Medway and Preston.

Mr Pritchard worked on perfecting the environmentally friendly antiviral spray in partnership with the British Army, which uses compressed air instead of VOC flammable gasses, is fully recyclable and fully re-useable. The product was developed in conjunction with, and partly funded by, the British Army in addition to a £180,000 Innovate UK grant from the British Government’s specialist team who have been funding projects in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Army asked LSTM to conduct tests at their Bio Security Level 3 Laboratory. They certified that VIRUSEND kills >99.99 percent of Coronavirus in 1 minute. Scientists from LSTM tested the formula over a period of five weeks. They proved VIRUSEND’s effectiveness at reducing the virus to British and European Standards. 

LSTM's Dr Grant Hughes said: “We tested the VIRUSEND formula on a strain of SARS-CoV-2. Our tests show this product is highly effective at reducing SARS-CoV-2. This significant reduction is seen within one minute of contact with the virus, meaning VIRUSEND is highly effective at inactivating SARS-CoV-2.”

VIRUSEND is the only product available commercially in the UK for surfaces which currently meets the two key requirements of the British and European standards, BSEN:14776 and BSEN:16777.

The spray is also undergoing clinical evaluation at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in 7 clinical environments including, A&E, COVID positive and low risk wards, intensive care and operating theatres. The Army directly recommended collaborating with the health service and donated 2000 sprays for this evaluation.

Professor David Jayne, Director of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Surgical MedTech Co-operative said: "We are delighted to be working in collaboration with the Army and Pritchard on this project. Partnerships are the backbone of the work that we undertake in the Leeds MedTech Co-operative in Surgical Technologies in our ambition to pull novel technologies into clinical practice. If the clinical trials are successful, we hope that the technology will be made widely available to help protect our staff and patients.”

The pioneering spray allows the holder to use the bottle in any direction, even if it is upside down and giving the ability to utilise 100% per cent of the liquid inside - reducing wastage.

 Mr Pritchard MBE said: "The second wave is upon us and a third one looms. VIRUSEND offers a low risk to health combined with maximum lethality, proven efficacy, compliance with the correct standards and the very short contact time."

The spray provides protection for homes and business for up to 3 months on average. More information can be found here