DHS S&T Funds Veteran-Owned Florida Small Business to Develop Longer-Lasting Disinfectant to Fight COVID-19
Hand sanitizers and surface disinfectants have proven essential in the COVID-19 era but are also a critical means to reduce or prevent the spread of many infectious diseases. This is one of the reasons the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is investing in a potentially fast, effective, and longer-lasting alternative to alcohol-based solutions. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) has awarded $105,877 in Phase 1 funding for Bloodstone Division, LLC’s development of an anti-viral disinfectant under the SVIP Emerging Needs: COVID-19 Response & Future Mitigation solicitation.
Bloodstone Division is a Service-Disabled veteran owned small business based in Tampa, Florida. Teaming up with Kingfisher Medical in Ohio, the Bloodstone project proposes a new use for an existing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved active ingredient for use as an anti-viral, or virucide. The project will first seek to develop the data needed for this new use by assessing residual viricidal efficacy, along with the effectiveness of its application on personal protective equipment (PPE) and use for surface cleaning, and as a hand sanitizer. If testing is successful, additional approvals will be sought from the EPA or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this patent-protected alternative use of this active ingredient.
Phase 1 of the Bloodstone project is based on findings from a study by the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) Ministry of Defense (MoD) that tested the effects of the neat technical grade active ingredient and the active ingredient in formulation on the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease now known as COVID-19. Initial results from the MoD study are promising. It demonstrated effective inactivation of the virus, residual efficacy, and continual inactivation of the virus for at least a couple of hours. Phase 1 of the project will be to gain independent testing to confirm and expand upon the U.K. MoD findings regarding the efficacy of the compound as a disinfectant.
“Our goal is to find ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at DHS workplaces, with the greater benefit of producing a surface and hand disinfectant that could one-day be used by all Americans,” said Melissa Oh, SVIP Managing Director. “This new application has the potential to provide long-lasting protection against and slow the spread of COVID-19 and possibly future viral pandemics.”
“DHS personnel working in austere environments, such as Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard, and Federal Emergency Management Administration may benefit from the dual-use properties of this product,” said Wil Pharis, Program Manager, Mission Capability Support, DHS S&T. “If the project is able to achieve its goals, it means the potential ability to rapidly disinfect security checkpoints, facilities, and extend the life of masks and PPE.”
SVIP is one of S&T’s programs and tools to fund innovation and work with private sector partners to advance homeland security solutions. Companies participating in SVIP are eligible for up to $2M of non-dilutive funding over four phases to develop and adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases.