Both HeiQ and Polygiene are drawing attention to the anti-viral properties of their textile treatments.

HeiQ draws attention to the fact that its Viroblock NPJ03, an antiviral and antimicrobial textile treatment, has been tested effective against coronavirus in face-mask testing, reducing virus infectivity by more than 99.99 percent. The treatment could therefore prevent textiles from becoming a host surface for the propagation of harmful viruses and bacteria, a finding of special relevance to the international community during the coronavirus emergency.

Viroblock has also demonstrated a dramatically improved reduction of virus infectivity of influenzas like H1N1 and other diseases. HeiQ, specialized in textile innovation, was founded in 2005 as a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH).

A few days earlier, HeiQ’s direct competitor, Polygiene, announced that it has a big extra order worth 300,000 Swedish kronor (€27,446-$30,136) for its biostatic stay fresh treatment from Airinum for its facemasks, due to strong demand for the product. Like the Swiss company, Polygiene claims that its own treatment reduces bacteria and viruses in the mask material by over 99 percent.

“We see a rise in interest for our solutions…, but we share the view that we would rather have Corona virus under control,” said Ulrika Björk, chief executive of Polygiene. “But with the situation being what it is, we are proud to partner with Airinum - a brand with great potential since they already are established in the Asian markets where also pollution is part of daily life.”

Polygiene has also been contacted by a number of other facemask producers in South Korea, France and other countries. The rising demand should help the company to improve its results, which have not been brilliant lately.

Polygiene recently published a sales increase of just 2.1 percent to SEK 19.0 million (€1.8m-$2.0m) for the fourth quarter of 2019, after an improvement in the third quarter. Adjusted for the divestment of its protective surfaces business, revenues gained 6.7 percent. They yielded an adjusted operating loss of SEK 2.2 million (€0.21m-$0.27m), compared with an operating profit of SEK 0.5 million for the year-ago period, although the gross margin jumped by 5.3 percentage points to 68.6 percent


Source: HeiQ Materials AG

Carlo Centonze (left), CEO HeiQ Group, and Dr. Thierry Pelet, virologist and memeber of HeiQ’s scientific advisory board, holding the first prototypes of Viroblock NPJ03 treated face masks