The world’s best athletes recently assembled in Tokyo for the Olympic games, albeit a year later than planned because of the pandemic. Their hopes and dreams of securing that elusive gold medal were often decided by the tiniest of margins. Succeed or fail, during the inevitable interviews after each event we heard references to lifetimes of dedication and every effort being made to secure a competitive advantage – hours in the gym, lifestyle sacrifices, living away from family and more. This has always been the way. In 1896, at the inaugural modern Olympic Games in Athens, one Thomas Burke lined up at the beginning of the 100 meter ‘dash’ with a gold medal in mind. Probably not the fastest man in the line-up he too was looking for a competitive advantage. As the athletes lined up waiting for the starter’s pistol, he adopted an unusual, crouched stance. He figured at the gun he could propel himself forward with greater power and speed than his competitors and he wasn’t wrong. Burke broke the finishing tape first, secured that coveted gold medal and a place in history with a time of 12 seconds, which was considered fast at the time.
The crouch start is now of course standard. The addition of blocks has provided yet further assistance to athletes at the start of the sprint races. Driven by more effective training, better diet, grippier track surfaces and faster footwear, competitors in track and field’s blue riband event, the 100 metres, have continually chipped away at the world record time knowing new performance standards are often required to win medals.
What saw the Olympics postponed was of course COVID-19. Athletic competition aside, the disease has affected our day-to-day lives in so many ways, as well as impacting the world of business, disrupted world trade and travel. Necessity being the mother of invention and all that, it has also prompted the development of new products and technologies to help address the problem SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. presents. Amongst these is the arrival of a new wave of Antiviral surface cleaners and disinfectants to market.
We are all very familiar with the word ‘antibacterial’ as it became synonymous with products used for cleaning our homes, places of work and where we go to enjoy ourselves. The arrival of COVID-19 prompted a demand for a new product, a better product, with a wider range of performance and consequently Antiviral products were born.
Just like those Olympic athletes throughout the ages the new product development team at Mirius are continually in pursuit of perfection and looking to raise the bar. Producing better products that deliver improved performance to users, wherever they are used is a collective goal. In pursuit of our own gold standard recent developments at Mirius has seen securing data that indicates how quickly our cornerstone Hycolin Antiviral Product kills viruses.
Performance claims made about cleaning and hygiene products may sometimes be viewed with a degree of scepticism – occasionally they can just sound too good to be true. Now, Mirius has always considered itself a company that is prepared to put its money where its mouth is, that is why establishing a baseline of reliable, performance credentials to accompany its Hycolin products was considered absolutely essential. We launched our first ‘antiviral’ products only when we were confident that they performed as we claimed they did. This involved securing test data generated using independently conducted, robust, scientific protocols that demonstrated effective antiviral performance.
The virus of interest over the last 18 months has, of course, been the Coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Interestingly, there are many ‘antiviral’ products on the market currently that claim to be effective against this particular nasty. However, closer inspection often reveals that they have only been tested against a surrogate, or substitute, virus. Which is a virus that is similar to SARS-CoV-2 but not the actual virus that causes COVID-19. That is not true of products within Hycolin’s Antiviral range, which has been tested and proven effective specifically against SARS-CoV-2. Mirius commissioned this testing at the internationally renowned Wageningen Bioveterinary Research Institute (WBVR) who demonstrated the Hycolin products killed more than 99.9% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In performing this novel work, we raised the bar and importantly gave users of the products absolute confidence they perform as described on the label, which was especially important at the height of the pandemic.
We couldn’t rest on our laurels; it just doesn’t fit with the company culture. Next on the list for Mirius was to understand how quickly the Hycolin product works? Standard test methods dictate contact times (between product and microbe) and in the case of antiviral testing allows five minutes for the product to act upon the virus. Not content with this, Mirius asked the laboratory to expose the virus to our product for a reduced amount of time, that better reflected how products may be used in real life settings. New testing saw the contact time reduced to just thirty seconds – a measly 10% of the standard contact time the test specifies.
The results were outstanding. We are delighted to announce that Hycolin Antiviral Disinfectant has been demonstrated to deactivate (kill) over 99.99% of the virus used in the test in less than 30 seconds of contact – so the same level of antiviral performance in 30 seconds as other products are demonstrating after 5 minutes contact time! We think you will agree that is gold medal standard.
In the interests of clarity, it is important to understand the virus used in the reduced contact time study was an ‘indicator’ virus. Like the earlier mentioned surrogate, it represents another virus, or in this instance members of a broader group known as enveloped viruses, to which coronaviruses belong. So, what we are able to deduce from this round of testing is that Hycolin Antiviral Disinfectant is not only highly efficacious against coronaviruses but also acts against these important viruses extremely quickly – in just 30 seconds.
The value of these data and the willingness to push the envelope is testament to the quality and reliability of the product. It also speaks highly of Mirius, the manufacturer behind the Hycolin brand. Most importantly it confirms Hycolin Antiviral Disinfectant has been shown to possess fast-acting antiviral efficacy that is difficult to beat, but who knows what will come next from the team at Mirius? The good news is you will probably not have to wait too long!