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NovaVeil: Kids' insect repellent clothing

by Meg Wirth

Maternova is launching novel kids clothing which repels multiple disease-carrying insects including mosquitoes, ticks, horseflies & bedbugs, to protect against Lyme, West Nile, EEE & Powassan.
Providence, RI United States Prevention Prevention Biotech

All Team Company Partners Innovation Details Supporters Comments Updates

About our project

The problem we solve: According to the CDC, mosquito- and tick-borne disease has increased three fold in just the last 15 years. As a result, the American consumer is increasingly concerned about insect-borne diseases (Lyme, Zika, etc.), while at the same time more vigilant about the effect of chemicals contained in conventional pesticides. Our NovaVeil solution provides a less-toxic, longer-lasting, odorless means of repelling insects embedded in the clothing we wear, as compared to other products currently available.

About our solution: We are launching a novel, patented biorepellent textile in the US markets enabling a safer, longer-lasting, less-toxic means to repel multiple insect families, including mosquitoes, ticks, horseflies, bedbugs (causing diseases such as Lyme, West Nile, EEE and Powassan).

Progress to date:

Novaveil is a patented smart textile technology that has IR3535, a mosquito biorepellent, covalently bonded to the fabric fibers during the industrial manufacturing process.

Multiple “arm in cage” laboratory and field experiments prove that IR3535 is an effective mosquito repellent and that Novaveil textile technology indelibly attaches IR3535 to the fabric and resists washing, maintaining an effective repellent effect for the lifetime of the fabric. garment.  

We have already manufactured two runs of apparel, demonstrating our ability to undertake both research, as well as manage and execute manufacturing and distribution.

Maternova received funding from Grand Challenges Canada to develop this product.



About Our Team

Creator: Meg Wirth

Location: Rhode Island

Education: Princeton MPA

Bio: Meg Wirth is an expert in maternal and neonatal health innovation. She is the co-founder of Maternova and an S.E.VEN fellow and a Cartier Women's Initiative finalist. She has advised dozens of entrepreneurs and startups in women's health and global health. Meg has also worked as a member of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Health Equity team and co-edited a major volume called Challenging Inequities in Health: From Ethics to Action. She was a co-author of the UN Millennium Project’s final report on child and maternal health. She has a BA from Harvard University and an MPA in international development from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.

Title: Co-Founder

Advanced Degree(s): MPA

About Team Members

Prakash Veenam
Biography: Prakash brings over 15 years experience in leadership, strategy and project management. His background in the Navy has led him to wear several different hats including command of a warship, planning, and operations. He has extensive expertise in international diplomacy, having worked with counterparts in North America, Europe, and Australia. Prior joining Maternova, Prakash worked with State Street Bank, MA in the strategic operations team. He holds an MBA from Babson College, Massachusetts.
Title: CEO
Advanced Degree(s): MBA
Twitter: @maternova

Andrew P. Mallon
Director of Revenue & Growth, Ph.D., MRPharmS
Biography: Dr. Mallon works with Maternova as Director of Revenue & Growth, along with providing clinical expertise. He founded Calista Therapeutics in 2012 based upon the discovery and development of a technology platform of therapeutics that modulate the cellular transport, location, and activation of regulatory proteins. Dr. Mallon is a biotech entrepreneur, specializing in the identification and creation of early stage value in promising therapeutics in diseases that have high, unmet clinical need and de-risked development pathways. Previously Dr. Mallon founded Ardane Therapeutics, Inc. (USA), and Carlton Pharmaceutics (UK). Dr. Mallon is an inventor on several patents based upon his discoveries in addition to several publications. Dr. Mallon has a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow, taught and undertook research at Brown University and is a registered pharmacist. Dr. Mallon has served as an expert scientific reviewer for both the NIH and NSF grant committees focused upon drug development.
Title: Director of Revenue & Growth
Advanced Degree(s): Ph.D., MRPharmS

Will Sheehan
Social Media Marketing Intern, B.A.
Biography: Will Sheehan works with Maternova and handles Social Media and Marketing. Will comes from a variety of public interest opportunities and is passionate about connecting access to technology and services with the vulnerable. Will majored in Spanish in college, which led him to spend a semester studying abroad in Cáceres, Spain. He is a second-year law student at Roger Williams University School of Law and holds a B.A. from Kalamazoo College in Michigan.
Title: Social Media Marketing Intern
Advanced Degree(s): B.A.
Twitter: @maternova

Shreya Patel
Content Writer, MBBS, MPH, MSc
Biography: Shreya is a physician from London, U.K. with experience in obstetrics and gynecology. She is currently working as a health policy analyst and is passionate about ensuring equitable access to healthcare. She has a particular interest in the quality of care during childbirth and the postpartum. Her work as a physician was focussed on caring for and treating pregnant migrant and refugee women in one of the most deprived areas of London. She also has experience in digital maternal healthcare and medical communications. Shreya holds an MPH in Health Policy from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, MSc in Reproductive Science and Women’s health, and BSc in International Health from University College London.
Title: Content Writer
Advanced Degree(s): MBBS, MPH, MSc
Twitter: @maternova

About Our Company

Maternova, Inc.

Location: 10 Davol Square Suite 100
Providence, RI 02906

Founded: 2009



Twitter: @maternova


Product Stage: Ready

Employees: 5-10

How We Help Partners

We seek partners interested in novel approaches to vector-borne illness.  An idea partner would be a hospital or public health agency interested in preventing mosquito or tick bone illnes in an endemic area.  Beyond the hurdle of clearing the EPA, we would also like to be able to do semi-field trials that would eventually show a lower incidence of disease in children (or individuals) who wear the NovaVeil apparel around the clock.  Novaveil is a patented smart textile technology that has IR3535, a mosquito repellant, covalently bonded to the fabric fibers during the industrial manufacturing process. Multiple arm in cage and field experiments prove that IR3535 is an effective mosquito repellent and that Novaveil textile technology indelibly attaches IR3535 to the fabric and resists washing, maintaining an effective repellent effect for the lifetime of the fabric. This smart fabric is effective at repelling multiple insect families, including mosquitoes as well as ticks, horseflies and other insects. Mosquitoes represent the most commercially viable initial market. Our platform technology is the method of bonding amenable chemicals to textile at the molecular level. 

While other permethrin impregnated fabrics are somewhat-effective products, we realized that there was the opportunity to innovate in this area in two ways that could make disruptive improvements:

Firstly, we switch from permethrin insecticide to IR3535 repellent. Because IR3535 is a repellent, it can project a repellent effect in an area beyond the contact insecticide efficacy of permethrin. Importantly, IR3535 is a Class 1 chemical, with a lower toxicity profile of the active chemical and with the eco-friendly Oeko-tex certification maintained during the manufacturing process.

Secondly, we utilize nanotechnology to covalently bond the IR3535 repellent to the fabric, largely preventing repellent loss during washing and maintaining a high level of repellent activity for a much longer lifetime of the textile.

The Novaveil fabric core innovation is the specific binding of the insect repellent, IR3535 (ethyl 3 (N-n-butyl-N-acetylamine) propionate), to the cellulose textile fibers. IR3535 was chosen for Novaveil because it is able to form glycidyl CH2CH2OH chemical bonds with silane. Silane is a coupling agent that covalently bonds IR3535 to silica nanoparticles. The nanoparticles are then bound covalently to the textile cellulosic material through a reactive epoxy group present in the nanoparticles. Scanning electron microscopy at 10,000X magnification was used to study the binding of IR3535 nanoparticles to the cellulose fabric. This figure shows the fibers with the particles attached. These particles are of a homogenous size and distribution throughout the fabric. These particles are of a homogenous size and distribution throughout the fabric.

Our textile takes on the status quo and represents a new approach to vector control, focusing on long-lasting industrial level nanotechnology applications that repel mosquitoes rather than the current approach shorter-lived textiles sprayed with an insecticide to eventually kill the insect. Many civilian vector control approaches evolve from military applications, including the development of uniforms made of textiles to repel water and kill insects.  Our solution reverses this approach to innovation and focuses on a civilian population, including vulnerable populations like infants, promoting comfortable cellulose-based, breathable lightweight textiles that will facilitate user acceptability. 

Innovation Details

Intellectual Property Summary

Novaveil is a patented smart textile technology that has IR3535, a mosquito repellent, covalently bonded to the fabric fibers during the industrial manufacturing process. Maternova has an exclusive patent license for this technology.  All intellectual property and legal agreements can be shared with investors and partners if proper NDAs are signed.  

Clinical Information

In this case, the regulatory body that oversees our innovation is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  We have spent 18 months determining the process that we need to follow to gain EPA approval and we know the regulatory steps we must work through in order to have the product approved in the U.S.

Multiple arm-in-cage and field experiments prove that our technology is a highly an effective mosquito repellent and that Novaveil textile technology indelibly attaches IR3535 to the fabric and resists washing, maintaining an effective repellent effect for the lifetime of the fabric. We have ten studies done on different types of textile and carried out in accordance with the World Health Organization standards for insect repelling technology testing.  To launch this product in the United States, we need to repeat two of these studies, with some modifications, according to the EPA's specifications and with their pre-approval of the study to ensure that enrollment and participation in the study are in line with their Human Subjects Review Board (HSRB). 

Mosquitoes represent the most commercially viable initial market, with ticks a secondary, but growing market.


Regulatory Status

Please note that this is a public health innovation-- but it is regulated by the EPA not the FDA in this case (see ABOVE).  We have a regulatory consultant who is working with us to meet the EPA standards.  Part of the funds raised here will be utilized to conduct the studies of efficacy approved by the U.S. EPA Human Studies Review Board.  

How we will use the funds raised

The capital raised would be used to secure EPA approval of our efficacy studies and then to manufacture the first run of children's clothing.   We intend to locally manufacture the clothing in Rhode Island and sell the products on our e-commerce platform as well as through the big box retailers across the U.S. Our endeavor is to supply these unique bio repellent children's clothing to every parent who is looking at keeping their children safe from mosquito-borne illness as well as Lyme

We shall pay for consulting local designers in the New England region to manufacture this clothing line. We also intend to pay for participation in clothing exhibitions to draw the attention of reputed retail chains. Further, we shall embark on a swift marketing campaign using our 50,000 online followers for spreading the word across the markets.

Thank You

Insect repellent apparel is new to the market and we need your help to overcome some final hurdles in our multi-year effort to introduce our product in the U.S. (and then globally). A rising trend in insect-borne diseases has been noticed in the gradual globalization, where endemic insect-borne diseases of the tropical and subtropical regions of the world are spreading in temperate regions such as North America and Western Europe. Some causes of this phenomenon could be attributed to the increasing trade activities and changing climate. Insect repellent clothing is an effective means to repel a host of disease-causing insects such as mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and ticks. The NovaVeil Kids line of clothing aims to achieve this in a more environmentally friendly manner by utilizing an extremely low toxic fabric treated with the chemical IR3535, which is covalently bonded to the textile fibers at the molecular level.  This process results in the fabric being effective even after 80 washes. Please join us in our efforts to combat the diseases such as Lyme, EEE, Powassan and West Nile caused by mosquitoes and ticks.  Our fabric does not use permethrin, which is environmentally toxic.  

Please also note that success in the U.S. means that we will also be able to launch our kid's line to protect infants and children from mosquitoes carrying dengue, malaria, Zika, Chikungunya and more around the world.



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$ 60 pledged of $ 40,000 goal

Meg Wirth
Princeton MPA

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