Canada Reports and Articles

Recent News and Interviews

Tech firms are out-boxing Big Pharma in the fight against COVID-19


Face masks are a critical tool in controlling how far respiratory droplets spray. But the wide array, from the medical-use N95 to sewn-at-home cotton coverings, differs greatly in effectiveness. The masks being made by the Mirabel, Que.-based company I3 Biomedical, however, make a claim none of the others can. The single-use TrioMed Active mask has a self-cleaning antimicrobial coating, which recent University of Toronto testing confirmed could deactivate 99 per cent of the novel coronavirus within minutes.

The COVID killer is a tri-iodide solution, which is not toxic to humans, I3 Biomedical’s CEO, Pierre Jean Messier, explains. The patented tech solves a common problem: the tendency of people to keep touching—and accidentally contaminating—their face masks or their hands. This makes TrioMed’s version particularly helpful for health care professionals, who must wear PPE for long stretches of time.

“Because demand has increased a lot, we’re basically producing non-stop,” says Messier. He wouldn’t disclose concrete numbers. Still, he believes the sales spike is temporary, forecasting that consumer demand will dry up post-COVID-19 since mask-wearing isn’t as culturally entrenched here as it is in Asia. There may not be an end to the pandemic in sight, but so long as it remains a reality, manufacturers are working to ensure Canadians are covered.


Protective Masks - Mask with Active Ingredient


A medical protective mask from Canada offers protection against viruses (and bacteria) of all kinds: Triomed Iodine Technology is the name of the only mask with an active ingredient. Iodine, one of the oldest disinfectants, is integrated into the mask structure - is completely odorless, skin-friendly and hypoallergenic.

This not only protects the others, but also the mask wearer. According to the manufacturer and university report (from Toronto University in Canada and one of the leading US American test laboratories, Nelson Labs in Salt Lake City in the US state of Utah), every virus and bacterium that hits the mask is "destroyed" within a few minutes.

This technology was developed 12 years ago by that company, which developed the masks during the Ebola epidemic, brought it onto the market in response against possible SARS viruses epidemics and patented it.


"Great significance to health care workers as well as the rest of us..."


A Made-in-Canada Antimicrobial Coating for Masks


U of T tests show Canadian-made mask
deactivates 99% of SARS-CoV-2 virus

Professor Scott Gray-Owen says I3 BioMedical’s proprietary TrioMed Active coating material had previously been demonstrated to kill most microbes on contact, and was shown to remain directly coupled to the outside surfaces of masks rather than leach out into the environment or onto the skin of wearers.

“They had done this before with other bacterial and viral pathogens including influenza, and we extended these studies for them to show that SARS-CoV-2 was also susceptible,” Gray-Owen said.


U of T lab results finds coating on mask
'deactivates' 99% of SARS-CoV-2 virus

Professor Scott Gray-Owen at the university’s department of molecular genetics at the Faculty of Medicine said the coated mask can protect the mask-wearer in several ways — if the mask-wear is infected with the CoV-2 virus and sneezes, those droplets would get caught in the coating and deactivated on their way out, so they don’t infect others around them.

“But also, if someone was beside me and they were infected and they talked to me and it got on the outside of my mask, or if my hands were contaminated and I touch my mask, then it should deactivate that. It should in theory, have a protective effect.”


Canadian-made mask proven to be first to deactivate coronavirus

A team of scientists at the University of Toronto has confirmed the first mask that deactivates coronavirus.

Within minutes, the external surface of the TrioMed Active mask deactivates over 99% of COVID-19 suspension.


U of T scientists confirm new mask ‘deactivates’ COVID-19


U of T research teams work to increase pandemic response efficiency

In an interview with U of T News, Christine Allen, associate vice-president and vice-provost of strategic initiatives, praised Gray-Owen and emphasized the importance of his research.

“His efforts helped [I3 BioMedical Inc.] bring its essential health innovation to market, supporting a made-in-Canada solution to the pressing need for personal protective equipment for frontline health-care workers,” said Allen.


U of T Scientists Confirm Effectiveness
of Mask That 'Deactivates' Coronavirus