Biotechnology / Health

New Castle startup Sanosil uses chemistry to fight disease

Sanosil International sells and distributes two products: a disinfecting system that can eliminate infections at hospitals and a product that purifies water.

Sanosil disinfectant being bottled at a company facility. (Photo courtesy of Sanosil International)

From 1985 to 2009, David St.Clair built multiple startups around electronic medical records.
Soon after his second startup, MEDecision — a company focused on collaborative healthcare management solutions — was sold in 2008, St.Clair, 61, looked to invest in other medical ventures.
And his friend Chris Ungermann had one — Sanosil International.
St.Clair was intrigued by what New Castle’s Sanosil had to offer: non-toxic, environmentally-friendly disinfecting biocides that can purify water, sanitize hospitals and reduce infections, among other uses.
Sanosil was founded by Ungermann in 2008 and St.Clair is the company’s principal investor.
“When I first started understanding what the company could do, I went all in,” St.Clair said.
He joined the company in 2012 as chairman, leaving his home in Philadelphia and moving to Wilmington.
Sanosil’s primary product is the Halo Disinfection System, a fogger machine the size of a golf bag that is becoming more commonplace at hospitals, assisted-living facilities, daycares and university gyms across the country.
In a hospital setting, staff members place the machine in a room after an infected patient was discharged or transferred to another room or wing. The individual then pours the HaloMist into the fogger and sets the dial based on the size of the room. The operator has about a minute to leave the room before the machine works its magic. After a few minutes, the room is completely sanitized and free from infectious spores, including the most difficult to kill, C. diff spores, St.Clair said.

Many hospitals, including Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, have already seen a reduction in infection rates, St.Clair said.
All of Sanosil’s products are EPA approved and regulated, he added.
The company’s other primary area of focus is water treatment.
Sanosil currently has contracts with some of Mexico’s largest oil refineries, where its sanitizing product is used to purify water in the oil-making process.
The product — a combination of hydrogen peroxide and other proprietary raw materials — was developed by a chemist in Switzerland.
“You’ve got two radically different business uses, but the chemistry is exactly the same,” St.Clair said.
A few years ago, Sanosil worked with the nonprofit organization Oxfam International in Myanmar to purify the drinking water in one local village. A couple caps filled with the product can sanitize more than 50 liters of river water, St.Clair said.
St.Clair often travels to countries across the globe to make connections with leaders and individuals who can help sell the products to the communities and people that need them most.
The issue, though, St.Clair said, is finding someone who can pay for the products to get to the villages and communities that are in dire need of water purification.
His company, he said, is working with NGOs and other government agencies in foreign countries to make products available. St.Clair said Sansoil cannot afford to donate products, but can provide water sanitizing products at cost or close to it.
The organization is currently seeking additional funding from venture groups both locally and beyond. St.Clair said the team is happy to be based in Delaware and plans to stay.
“Delaware is a very good state to deal with exports. It’s actually a very good place and there is a lot of overlap of healthcare in the region,” St.Clair said.

Companies: Sanosil International

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