Biotech company Holista CollTech (ASX: HCT) is set to join the resistance against the coronavirus pandemic after announcing a deal with Global Infection Control Consultants (GICC) to co-develop and produce the world’s first nasal sanitising balm in Malaysia.
The news means Holista will exclusively represent GICC’s technology in the Asia Pacific region with the exclusion of China, Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
In a statement to the market yesterday, Holista declared it will apply GICC’s proprietary Path-Away technology in a nasal balm.
Path-Away is a plant-based alcohol-free ingredient that has proven to kill all previously tested corona-type viruses.
The nasal sanitising balm is anticipated to be equivalent to Holista’s existing NatShield Sanitiser and offer better protection than masks given that masks do not provide complete protection seeing as they are loose-fitting and may allow small droplets to enter the mouth or nose.
As a strong indication of future sales and widespread application, Path-Away has been approved by Malaysia’s Ministry of Health as being effective against the H1N1 virus – a strain of swine flu that led to the deaths of 284,000 people in 2009 and led to US President Barack Obama declaring a national emergency.
In terms of licencing, GICC has agreed to grant Holista marketing and distribution rights of Path-Away beyond the ASEAN region to include the UK and Europe. Once development is complete and production commences, Holista expects to distribute NatShield and the new nasal sanitising balm across Europe and the US later this year.
Method of action
Path-Away attaches to viruses and weakens the cell walls by inhibiting their ability to take up amino acids – the basic building block of cells. This forces the virus cells to clump together, in the process of killing themselves, almost instantly.
The biotech company has declared that because Path-Away is plant-based and alcohol-free, it cannot irritate the nose while being effective for six hours.
According to Holista, Path-Away has been tested and proven to kill more than 170 pathogens including viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
The ingredient can eradicate the AIDS virus and the resilient Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis.
Moreover, GICC utilised Path-Away in assisting Malaysian authorities during the H1N1 outbreak and Singaporean authorities during the SARS outbreak in 2003.
In a joint announcement, GICC co-founder Dr Arthur Martin and Holista’s chief executive Dr Rajen Manicka declared that the two companies will extend their partnership and accelerate development with a view of filing a global patent before the end of March 2020.
The two companies expect to commence production before the start of Q3 2020, ahead of distribution to global markets and the onset of the UK and European winter.
“An airborne virus can only enter the human body through the eyes, the mouth and the nose,” Dr Martin explained.
“The mouth is protected by salivary enzymes and the eyes produce tears with specific enzymes that disable proteins on virus surfaces.”
“The nose, however, is warm, damp and dark – especially during winter. Rich in fatty and amino acids, the nasal passage leads directly to sinuses, the throat and of course, the lungs, thus making it the most vulnerable to viruses,” Dr Martin noted.
Just recently, Holista received orders for an additional 90,000 NatShield sanitisers to parts of Australia and Asia, just days after the first delivery was sold out amid growing concerns relating to the spread of the coronavirus in Asia.
The company confirmed it received an order for 30,000 bottles from pharmacies in Sydney and Melbourne and a separate order for 15,000 bottles from a South East Asian distributor.
The hand-held NatShield Sanitiser also contains GICC’s Path-Away ingredient, is currently bottled in Malaysia and distributed within the 10-country ASEAN region. According to Holista, stocks have “run out” in local pharmacies which has induced the biotech company to engage three bottlers in the Philippines to meet orders.
“Due to health concerns about COVID-19, Holista is striving to meet the demands for the hand-held NatShield Sanitiser locally in Malaysia as well as in Australia,” said Dr Rajen Manicka.
In a bid to develop the nasal sanitising balm, grow existing regional markets as well as new European markets without disrupting business operations, Holista has confirmed that it has successfully raised just over $2.6 million since the start of 2020, utilising its previously agreed Acuity Capital Control Placement Agreement (CPA) facility.