A Kiwi-made water-based sanitiser has tested almost 100 per cent effective against coronavirus for up to 30 days on surfaces and 24 hours on hands.
Zoono’s sales increased five-fold since the Australia sharemarket listed company announced on the ASX last week that its lab tests in Britain confirmed the Z-71 microbe shield technology in its sanitiser was 99.99 per cent effective against the current strain of Covid-19 coronavirus.
Tests were conducted by Microbiological Solutions Limited under the European Standard 14476, which specifies minimum requirements for chemical disinfectant and antiseptic products.
Zoono’s founder Paul Hyslop said sanitiser, which is made in Auckland, used a process called lysis to form a protective barrier resembling microscopic pins on surfaces that pierced the pathogen.
Hyslop said Zoono had been tested against bovine coronavirus in 2014, but needed to be re-tested against this latest strain.
“We never make a claim we cannot support from our laboratories that operate under good practice,” he said.
“Purell and Dettol is designed to kill bacteria and viruses but the moment you pick up a cell phone or touch a door handle or shake somebody’s hands you’ve got the potential to be re-infected. Our product sticks to the skin and keeps protecting.”
Microbiologists used a surrogate of the virus to test Zoono’s efficacy, Hyslop said.
Hyslop said demand for Zoono sanitiser which costs from $6 for a bottle had been “through the roof”.
“We were busy before, then the coronavirus came along and we got hit like a tornado,” Hyslop said.
Online sales had increased from about $20,000 a month to as much as $100,000 a day, he said.
In the last week sales in Australia and New Zealand had been more than $1 million. Zoono’s shareprice surged 66 per cent in the past five days to $2.28 on Wednesday.
“It’s very busy, but it’s crazy good and has created a lot of awareness about our unique technology from New Zealand,” he said.
The company is moving to bigger premises and hiring more staff to keep up with demand.
“We’ve revved up more production material so we can now make up to 3 million litres of products. I’ve just ordered four million bottles out of China,” Hyslop said.New Zealand joined 48 other countries affected by the novel coronavirus last week when health authorities confirmed the first Covid-19 case.
But factory closures in China had also affected Zoono’s plastic bottle supply.
“All our regular plastic bottle suppliers have either closed or only got half their staff on. They’ve also put their prices up and are insisting we make full payments in advance on orders.
“Regardless we’re doing the best we can to get plastic into the country as quickly as we can.”In the last week Zoono’s Australian and New Zealand sales have been more than $1 million.
There have been three confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Zealand.
Coronavirus is a respiratory disease. It spreads via droplets from the nose or mouth expelled when a person with the disease coughs, sneezes or exhales.
To avoid infection, people should stay at least a metre away from someone who has, or may have, the virus.
Hyslop said it had been difficult to crack the hospital market worldwide because of their restrictive contracts with large pharmaceutical companies.
“The chief executive, doctors and nurses wanted the product, it got to procurement but when they looked at their supply contracts they had the large pharmaceutical companies locked in for 20 years on supply agreements that were unbreakable.
“When new technology comes through they’ll do whatever they can to keep us out.”
Hyslop said Zoono had been in talks with Singapore Airlines and Qantas to use its product in air conditioning and was being trialled by United Airlines.
“We’re a New Zealand company and will always stay a New Zealand company. Everyone is extremely interested in us because of the outbreak. We’re on the radar now.”