Adapting the business model to rapidly produce and market efficacious hand sanitizing foam to combat and contain the COVID‑19 outbreak
The purpose of this project is to develop a gentle foaming hand sanitizer that shows 99.9% efficacy at destroying microorganisms that cause infections to help palliate the shortage of personal antiseptics and establish long-term suppliers to maintain accessibility. We propose to formulate a foam-based antiseptic product and test its efficacy of pathogen lethality to indicate ‘kills 99.9% of germs’ on the product label. Foaming hand sanitizers cling to hands better than liquid hand sanitizer and less of it is required per use. The development and production of an effective foaming hand sanitizer will provide another available option of personal antiseptic to consumers to reduce the transmission of microbes in general and help combat the COVID‑19 pandemic. This project will be conducted by the Technology Access Center in Bio-Innovation at La Cité and can take place while the COVID‑19 physical distancing measures are in place since controlled access to the research facilities have already been granted. Extra personal protective equipment (PPE) is given to all personnel and additional laboratory space has been made available to abide by the physical distancing recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The specific aims of the project are to 1) prepare documents for research ethics approval and recruit human participants; 2) evaluate two major foam formulation types – water- vs ethanol-based – in terms of texture and gentleness on the skin; 3) test the efficiency of the foam against pathogens in vitro; and 4) evaluate the efficiency of the foam against pathogens in a clinical trial. An expert in Health Canada’s regulations will be consulted during the design and performance of the trial. This proposed product would be one of the most fundamental and cost-effective ways of preventing transmission.