A revolutionary Pathogen Capture Technology used to protect defence forces frontline personnel from biological threat agents and infectious diseases, led to the start-up in 2012 of NUI Galway based Aquila Bioscience.
Pathogen Capture Technology is highly effective in controlling a broad range of bio-pathogens including, Covid-19, SARS CoV-2 virus, influenza, anthrax, MRSA and wound infections, sepsis, and lung infections.
Professor Lokesh Joshi, a Stokes Professor of Glycosciences in NUI Galway and founder of Aquila Bioscience, developed the technology during research collaborations with Defence Forces Ireland and the European Defence Agency.
The technology breakthrough led to the founding of Aquila Bioscience and the development of the world's first chemical-free products that mimic everyday occurrences in nature to protect against infectious diseases.
As a start-up, Professor Joshi and his team continued to work endlessly to grow the business during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Aquila Bioscience is supported by the Business Innovation Centre at NUI Galway, a start-up ecosystem on campus that provided Aquila with the necessary infrastructure and administrative support needed to expand the team and to transition to pilot scale manufacturing of its products.
Ironically, the pandemic afforded Aquila Bioscience the opportunity to bring their chemical-free Wipes and Mask Spray to the US and UK markets quickly, to help protect frontline staff from contracting Covid-19 during the height of the pandemic.
“Nature has evolved anti-microbial mechanisms for millenia to protect us from pathogens. Nature has devised several biomolecules for pathogen-trapping that capture and remove pathogens from our body such as breast milk, saliva and gut mucus, tears, and urine. We are surrounded by microbes but don’t get infected every day because natural biomolecules protect us from pathogens.”
Through extensive research and development supported by the European Defence Agency and European Commission, including a European Innovation Council Award, the technology uses a library of natural decoy molecules to instantly capture and remove all pathogens safely and effectively without using any toxic chemicals, to protect the environment.
"I am fully aware of the potential threats posed by biological agents and the lack of tools and technologies to protect us. Professor Joshi and his team in Aquila Bioscience at NUI Galway have developed a revolutionary and yet safe and environmentally sustainable technology for the protection against not just biothreat agents but all other infectious agents.”
Aquila Bioscience's revolutionary Pathogen Capture Technology comes at a critical time when the overuse of antibiotics to kill bacteria and infections has led to worldwide antimicrobial resistance.
Antimicrobial-resistant strains are widely considered the next greatest threat following the global Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization, the failure to address antimicrobial-resistance could account for 10 million deaths by 2050 and cost significantly more than the Covid-19 and SARS-2-COV pandemics.
Current strategies for disinfection and decontamination are unsustainable, with products in use for over a century, that rely on a kill-all strategy, that are not safe on the skin and are toxic to the environment.
In the US, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is currently moving commonly used disinfectants from over-the-counter sales to prescriptions, recognising the need for safer, sustainable, and effective solutions to protect people from infectious diseases.
Aquila Bioscience is the perfect nature-based, chemical-free alternative to the current disinfection and decontamination products used to clean, sanitise, and disinfect the skin and other surfaces.
Since its start-up in 2012, the company has scaled quickly and now employs 15 staff at its head office and laboratories based in NUI Galway’s Business Innovation Centre.
The company's innovative Pathogen Capture Technology is developed by a team of biologists, chemists, and physicists leading the research and development in green science and biomimicry development.
“As the former European Defence Agency Head of Unit Innovative Research and Programme Manager of the Joint Investment Programme on CBRN protection, I oversaw the development of Aquila’s pathogen capture technology, and I am proud to say that this has been one of the most innovative and elegant solutions for decontamination of biothreat agents.
The European Union needs more technologies for the protection of its military, the security forces, first responders and civilians against potential CBRN threats.”
The products developed by Aquila Bioscience includes chemical-free, biodegradable cotton Wipes and a Mask Spray that capture and prevent the transmission of infectious diseases and protects against biological threat agents.
In a world still living with Covid-19, particularly in under developed countries where the vaccine rollout is slow, these products can protect the lives of citizens, patients and frontline personnel from the virus and minimise the spread as new variants continue to mutate.
The Mask Spray can be used on reusable masks and provides 95% protection against Covid-19 and other pathogens, as opposed to 40% protection with disposable masks. It also makes for an excellent alternative to preserve the environment.
Aquila Bioscience currently supplies its products to Defence Forces Ireland, Irish Postal Services, Irish Healthcare services, Private healthcare providers, companies, and consumers.
The company is also engaging with other market leaders in bringing its technology to other sectors for healthcare, consumer care and industrial applications.
From an initial research collaboration with Defence Forces Ireland and the European Defence Agency, Aquila Bioscience has today become a global leader in Pathogen Capture Technology inspired by nature.