UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Bio-Defense Research Group Inc. (BDRGI), a biotechnology firm based here, has announced the availability of Path-Away™, a technology that neutralizes deadly airborne bioterror agents such as anthrax and smallpox, according to the company. Said to be effective with a wide range of airborne pathogens, its use in health care facilities can significantly reduce the spread of infections, adds the company.

Path-Away integrates into air-handling systems and can provide protection for public and private facilities, modes of transportation ranging from military transports to cruise ships, as well as individuals wearing decontamination suits and other protective gear, the company says.

The technology originated at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), Laurel, Md., which granted an exclusive worldwide license for the technology to BDRGI.

"This technology is different from anything we've found in the world market," stated John Bacon, APL technology transfer manager. "Every test we conducted using simulant bioterror pathogens, including anthrax and smallpox-like substances, it significantly destroyed them, as it did with more common pathogens such as staph infections that are often found in health care facilities."

Dr. Preston McGee, CEO of BDRGI, offered two examples to illustrate the impact Path-Away could have.

"First, look at the Brentwood Post Office facility in Washington," McGee said. "Brentwood was closed for a year and cost over a hundred million dollars to decontaminate because anthrax from a few envelopes entered the HVAC system and spread throughout the building. Much of the damage could have been contained had Path-Away been installed at that facility.

"Second, 90,000 people die every year because they enter a hospital and acquire an airborne infection that has traveled from one area to another using the HVAC system. Path-Away can cut the number of deaths resulting from these infections, saving thousands of lives and billions of health care and insurance dollars."

BDRGI is communicating with several agencies and companies regarding the technology, including military, government, corporate, and health care facilities.

For more information, visit www.bdrgi.com.

Publication date: 04/21/2003