The main active ingredient in Spectricept is Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl), which is a natural product actually found in the defence cells of all human beings and other animals, and without which mammalian evolution would not have taken place. It is lethal to all known pathogens, viral, bacterial and fungal. The breakthrough from our perspective is that our Spectricept team has been able to stabilise the HOCl molecule in the presence of other bodily substances that would normally break it down immediately such that its effective pathogen penetrating action is prolonged and extended.
HOCl was discovered in 1834 by French chemist A.J. Balard but was not available in stable form until the early 1990s. Given its properties against pathogens, scientists explored using HOCl in vivo, ex vivo and within in vitro situations. While it is known to be extremely lethal to pathogens, the challenges associated with the stability and effectiveness of HOCl when brought into contact with membranes, mucosa and other complex biological elements of the human body, obstructed its full utilisation for many years.
Spectrum Antimicrobials, Inc. have produced a novel shelf stable and fully biocompatible form of hypochlorous acid which includes special stabilisers (chlorinated salts) and that will satisfy all safety and efficacy requirements for deployment and utilisation. We intend to use this as a biocide that can safely and effectively eliminate 99.99996% of all pathogens on skin and clothing. It is about 300 times more effective than bleach and completely safe to deploy on human beings. HOCl breaks down into water and harmless chlorinated compounds that neither harm nor irritate human beings or affect discolour or mark clothing in any way.
Spectricept contains a patent pending HOCl based chemistry with broad-spectrum antimicrobial and antiviral activity effective even when confronted with the bodily and chemical processes that normally would instantaneously break it down.
The product formulation has been subject to a series of extensive independent tests to demonstrate its ability to eliminate a wide variety of pathogens, it has also been subject to full biocompatibility testing according to the internationally recognised ISO 10993 series of standards. These include tests for cytotoxicity, irritation and skin sensitization. As a result, Spectricept in the form that we are applying as a biocide is classified as non-toxic, non-irritant, non-mutagenic, non-haemolytic, non-pyrogenic and non-sensitizing. Crucially, having created a HOCl substance with an extended shelf life we have the supply and the ability to deploy this solution at scale. The solution is odourless and behaves like water, which constitutes 99.94% of its volume.
Another key feature of HOCl includes its ability to pose non-selective or wide spectrum antiviral and antibacterial effects against a broad range of viruses and bacteria, without inducing drug-resistance. HOCl does not rely on a single mode of action to block or eradicate viruses and bacteria – studies to date have shown its activity against pathogens, because of its broad-spectrum non-specific activity, does not induce resistance amongst target viruses and bacteria.
How Does HOCl Work?
The dissociation of HOCl into various charged ionic species triggers different modes of action caused by each ionic species which occur simultaneously against fungi, bacteria and other pathogens and plays a major role in deactivation of viruses. This multi-pronged mechanism produced by HOCl leads to rapid deactivation of viruses and destruction of other pathogens (bacteria and fungi). A destruction of bacterial pathogens happens as HOCl targets non-specific biomolecules on bacterial cell membrane. It is widely documented that HOCl readily reacts with a wide range of biomolecules including DNA strands, RNA strands, fatty acid groups, cholesterol and proteins amongst others. It is a highly reactive compound and upon reaction it is rendered completely neutral leaving no chemical residuals behind for the body to process. Similar studies using fibroblast cells have shown no cytotoxicity cells to these mammalian cells.
HOCl targets both bacteria and viruses. In bacteria it attacks the membrane transport system, and the electron transport chains in order to inactivate the invading pathogens. Whereas viruses studies to date suggests that HOCl inactivates them by reacting with the structure responsible for their specific viral activity and target site interaction. Upon exposure, HOCl changes the folding (structure) of the virus proteins which leads to its complete inactivation. HOCl’s other mode of action against fungi includes targeting kinase molecules which trigger a cascade of events leading to the complete cell destruction of the fungi. In short HOCl, deploys an evolved array of techniques to kill the different types of pathogens that regularly infect and harm human beings. We have now managed to stabilise this molecule to render a longer lasting and more effective effect.
Recently Spectricept has been subjected to a detailed time kill study on a variety of difficult pathogens including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These were conducted in compliance with the ASTM E2315-16, Standard Guide for Assessment of Antimicrobial Activity Using a Time-Kill Procedure. The results demonstrate Spectricept (has successfully met greater than 6 log reduction in all bacterial strains tested. Standard disinfectants only hit log 3 reduction in bacteria.
Our current application, Spectricept is being used as a biocide to eradicate a wide range of pathogens that may be present on people and their clothing. Full technical documentation has been assembled to allow its use as both a Type 1 and Type 2 biocide in the United Kingdom.
Type 1: Biocidal products used for human hygiene purposes, applied on or in contact with human skin or scalps for the primary purpose of disinfecting the skin or scalp.
Type 2: Disinfectants and algaecides not intended for direct application to humans or animals.
Our HOCl based formulation is the only solution to date designed to have a sufficient shelf-life while capable of providing consistent sanitisation and cleansing effect. It has a sustained antimicrobial effect even in the presence of disruptive fluids such as serum or other organic load (sweat, cosmetics etc.) which typically attenuates viral and microbial killing.
It is worth restating that this product has been extensively and rigorously tested on human beings for a variety of therapeutic and medical uses and it is completely safe. One can even gargle the solution with no consequent harm or damage whatsoever. Unlike either alcohol or bleach-based products.
Pathogens, such as the COVID-19 virus, have a number of ways of spreading from one individual to another and these infection pathways needed to be stopped in order to reduce the epidemic or pandemic spread. In the case of Coronavirus – it is primarily a respiratory infection, spreading via respiratory droplets and especially through coughing and sneezing but just breathing the same air as someone who is infected is also thought to contribute to viral spread. Another critical pathway for viral infection is spread via surfaces or human-to-human contact. This surface related spread applies not just to inanimate objects such as seats and tables but also to fellow human beings who from time immemorial have touched or held or kissed one another as a sign of greeting and welcome and human’s touching is a major part of family and social life and appears universal across all global cultures.
Scientific knowledge tells us that COVID-19 exists on a variety of surfaces for extended periods of time and in some cases days. This surface reservoir of COVID-19 virus can be transferred and infect others via hands which then touch faces and come close to mucosal membranes (mouth, eyes, nose) which are considered the main portal of entry for this pathogen. It is remarkable how frequently we touch our faces each minute of the day, albeit subconsciously. Infected people tend to have a significant viral load which is readily spread in their saliva during coughing, speaking and even just breathing. These mucosal and salivary droplets contain multiple copies of virus which cling to surfaces such as the person’s clothing and skin. Recent studies have evaluated the persistence of the COVID-19 virus on different surfaces. One such study found that the COVID-19 virus remained active and transmissible for up to 1 day on cloth and wood, 2 days on glass, and more than 4 days on stainless steel and plastic.
The exact role and potency of surface transmission in the case of COVID-19 is still the subject of much active investigation, but the World Health Organisation’s Interim Guidance focuses on the importance of reducing the potential for viral contamination in non-healthcare settings.
For social or sporting events involving the mass gathering of human beings, this would typically involve deep cleaning and disinfection of all hard surfaces within a room, theatre, stadium in order to render the area ‘COVID secure’. This area though would fail to remain ‘COVID secure’ once people begin to enter. In such situations, we do not know who has the virus and who is shedding it, in which case we must regard everyone as potentially COVID infected whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic. When people are admitted into this pre-cleaned secure environment they must be considered as potential virus spreaders and their bodies and clothing must be regarded as infectious. As such, incoming people and their belongings should be considered an infection spreading risk and should undergo a degree of sanitisation to prevent the virus which covers the skin surface and clothing of people spreading between individuals.
To restate this, a crucial and neglected element in our attempts to control the virus spreading is addressing viral spread via the surfaces of people, clothing and the things they touch. Until a safe vaccine is developed and rolled out in sufficient quantities, masks, social distancing and minimal population movement and gathering are the most effective public health population measures we can utilise. Happily, we can now deploy and use at scale a revolutionary new sanitisation product that outperforms other alternative surface disinfectants on efficacy and safety.
We have brought an innovative and game changing product to market that can eliminate viruses by creating a pathogen eliminating mist through which individuals pass, that sanitises all surfaces, thus making surfaces and people much safer and less likely to harbour virus and reducing thereby the potential for viral spread. We can deploy the unique properties of Spectricept, a transformative new disinfectant from Spectrum Antimicrobial Inc to help stop the spread of virus and help society get back to normal activities and ultimately save lives.