Belfast Telegraph

Firm at forefront of swine flu battle

By Symon Ross

While most company’s are worrying about the effects of swine flu a Warrenpoint company is leading the charge to combat the virus.

Clonallon Laboratories, which manufactures sterile operation packs for the healthcare sector, has been working with a Northern Ireland collaborative network called Infection Free by Design involving universities, hospitals and companies, which is sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland.

It has worked on a product called MEDIK Air which preliminary testing has demonstrated kills swine fever and a range of pathogens such as E.Coli , MRSA, C. difficile in the air and on surfaces.

Clonallon Laboratories intends to market this device to hospitals in the Republic, Northern Ireland and Scotland as an aid to reduce the risk of exposure to swine flu.

Managing director Dermot Dempster said: “Our view is that here is something that could be used as a tool to combat the swine flu pandemic that’s coming our way, particularly with the schools coming back.”

The product comes in three sizes — a pendant with the technology incorporated that can be worn by individuals, a TV sized device that sterilises the air in a room, and a larger version that could be used in hospital wards. While testing will continue Mr Dempster, a microbiologist by profession, said the company plans to market the product immediately.

“From a commercial point of view there is a window of opportunity we must act on and we have taken the decision to take this to market.

“We’re trying to bring added value to an infection scenario, to help combat the spread of swine flu at hospital and GP level,” he said.

The company started in 2002 and now employs eight people full time. It is also planning to market a second product called ICNet, which is designed to help hospitals fight infections.

Belfast Telegraph