Issues and innovations around antibacterial coatings.
SPARTHA Medical co-founders, Nihal Engin Vrana (Chief Executive Officer) and Philippe Lavalle (Chief Scientific Officer) have been interviewed by Jean Marc Sylvestre for the business TV show ”Business Inside”, in partnership with Forbes France.
Since the company was founded in 2019, SPARTHA Medical’s microbiology experts have been designing and developing a range of multifunctional antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory coatings to combat, among other things, hospital-acquired infections. Interview with Nihal Engin Vrana (NEV), CEO of the company, and Philippe Lavalle (PL), CSO.
What is SPARTHA Medical’s specialization?
NEV: We are a company that develops antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory coatings. Our expertise is based around microbiology as well as in the development of coatings for different sectors of activity.
PL: The coatings are essentially based on biopolymers, which are more biocompatible and environmentally friendly components.
More precisely, what solutions do you propose?
NEV: We offer antibacterial and anti-inflammatory coatings adapted to medical devices, which help prevent nosocomial infections, since 50% of them are linked to medical devices. For everyday use, we are also developing antiviral and antimicrobial formulations that can be used on any surface.
PL: We are working on other applications in cosmetics, food, electronics, and even in the veterinary sector. The technology we are developing is broad enough to be adapted to many sectors of activity. Its versatility allows, by changing its composition very slightly, to easily obtain other properties that can optimally meet the specific needs of a customer.
Who are the customers who use the patented solutions you develop?
NEV: Our main customers are medium to large size suppliers. These players have specific needs regarding protection against bacteria and viruses. With the coronavirus crisis, the demands have greatly increased. As Philippe explained, we listen to our customers’ needs to provide them with a customized coating adapted to their specific requirements.
What are the challenges you face today?
NEV: Part of the challenge is to protect equipment that is at risk of coming into contact with viruses or bacteria. With the advent of COVID19, the issues around protection against viruses and bacteria have become much more concrete for many players such as large multinationals.
To meet these challenges, innovation plays an important role in your company?
PL: The company was born out of an innovation. We filed our first patent application in 2015 and have filed three more since then. At SPARTHA Medical, we wanted to operate in the following way: to create an innovation even before creating the company, and not the other way around. We have developments underway on other technologies that will allow us to file more new patents in the coming months.
NEV: We have just moved to the Biomedicine Research Center in Strasbourg. We are surrounded by a team of experts, clinicians and with many facilities available to advance with professionals from the academic world and many technical solutions.
What are the upcoming projects for SPARTHA Medical?
NEV: We are involved in a coating that is both antiviral and antibacterial and totally biocompatible, and it is difficult to design a product that has all three properties. We are also developing a specific program that uses artificial intelligence to design coatings more quickly to deal with the next viruses. In the industrial sectors we work with, there are no established tests to validate the antibacterial or antiviral activities of complex structures. Our goal is to offer customized tests for our different customers’ products. We continue to work with multinationals and are developing significant expertise in the microbiology sector.
PL: For the time being, we are working with French companies or companies from neighboring countries such as Germany. Eventually, we want to go international and offer our services to new countries further away.