Locally developed product offers Covid-19 protection

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Technology that was initially developed in Point Roberts is set to play an important role in curbing the spread of coronavirus.

Studies have confirmed the association between a continuously active antimicrobial coating developed by Allied BioScience and decreased microbial burden and healthcare-related infections in hospitals. A recent study by the University of Arizona has confirmed that a modified version of the coating is effective against human coronavirus.

“We can reduce the spread of these viruses by surfaces with this type of product,” University of Arizona microbiologist Frank Gerba, said on a recent episode of Good Morning America. The product is now being tested in hospitals and transit systems.

Allied BioScience is currently headquartered in Dallas, Texas but it got its start in a converted shed in a Point Roberts backyard. The company was founded by local residents Craig and Ingrida Grossman in 2008. “We moved to the Breakers in 2012 and we had offices and our labs there until March 2019,” Craig Grossman said.

Drawing its name from the collaboration between experts in diverse fields, Allied BioScience developed long-lasting polymer coatings that “create a hostile environment for microbial organisms so they can’t survive,” Craig Grossman said. “We designed the coatings and the ways to apply them and use them.”

“When you clean a surface it is only clean until someone touches it. A single fingerprint leaves a biofilm that organisms can live in, sometimes for a long time. Our idea was to find a way for these surfaces to keep themselves clean.”

The coatings Allied BioScience developed and continues to develop are long-lasting, non-visible, non-toxic antimicrobial coatings designed to be quickly applied to surfaces in hospitals, buses, trains, planes, stores, meeting spaces, hotels – the places people congregate where the potential for the transfer of infectious organisms is high. The coatings work on a molecular level and remain effective until they wear off, which varies depending on where they are applied.”

The Grossmans, along with their son Gavri who joined the company as a research associate in 2015, hold 18 U.S. patents, 42 worldwide with 30 patents pending. “Our underlying interest has been trying to break the chain of infection and keep people healthy,” Craig Grossman said. He quotes Gerba, one of the scientists he brought on board to work with Allied BioScience: “If you don’t get sick, you don’t have to cure it.”

Craig Grossman left the board of directors of Allied Bioscience in 2018 but continues in the role of Chairman Emeritus and he and Ingrida Grossman continue to be retained as consultants. Gavri Grossman, who grew up in Point Roberts, remains the company’s vice-president of operations. Craig Grossman has founded Gman Biotech and continues to collaborate with scientists and business experts to bring technological innovations in infection control to the marketplace. “We keep exploring ideas, different ways to protect people,” he said.

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