by Meg Wirth
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.
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.
Advanced Degree(s): MPA
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.
Advanced Degree(s): MBA
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
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.
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
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.
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