U.S. Army deploys a novel topical antiseptic to fight Ebola

Ebolavirus under an electron microscope--Courtesy of CDC

Microdermis' antiseptic skin product Provodine--which incorporates a novel dermal delivery system--has been adopted by the U.S. Army and will be used in West Africa against Ebola.

Provodine meets or exceeds the FDA requirements for use as a surgical scrub, preoperative skin preparation, healthcare personnel hand wash and first aid antiseptic, and will be used as a "molecular barrier" to block viral exposure for healthcare workers and emergency responders using traditional layers of protective equipment.

Preliminary testing by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases demonstrated that the product provides superior antiseptic protection within 30 seconds of exposure with more than a 99% kill-rate against Ebola particles. The duration of killing effect--active kill--was initially tested at points of up to two hours.

Provodine, unlike many branded antiseptic products, can be used safely on the most sensitive areas of the body, Microdermis said in its release.

"The fight against Ebola has proven to be a tough one. Now Microdermis is bringing Provodine, a novel and critical weapon against Ebola and many other infectious diseases," Dr. Lester, Martinez-Lopez, the former head of the US Army's Medical Research and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick, who has guided much of Microdermis' strategic initiative, said in a statement.

To date, a total of 335 relief workers have died trying to prevent the spread of ebolavirus.

The U.S. Army first deployed military personnel in September to provide support for the West Africa Ebola response. This week, Army command confirmed the deployment of an additional 9,000 personnel to the region.

Founded in 2010, the company's mission is rooted in military medicine, and its focus is on the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

Microdermis was founded in 2010 as a medical doctor-run enterprise and refinanced in 2011 to operate as a business entity, according to the company. It got its start with investments from 42 doctors and angel investors.

- here's the release