In a world first, iodine sanitisers to hit Indian market soon

TV Jayan New Delhi | Updated on October 07, 2020

The product harnesses biocidal properties of iodine to be effective against a wide of range of germs

The world’s first iodine-based sanitisers, which are said to be more effective and long-lasting than alcohol-based hand cleansers, will be launched in India over the next two weeks.

Moreover, India would be the manufacturing hub for supplying the iodine sanitiser, which will be named as I2Cure, to other parts of the world, said Anil Kejriwal, Global President of the Singapore-based biotechnology firm I2Pure, which holds the patents for this molecular iodine-based product.

I2 in the name stands for molecular iodine, the active ingredient in the product. Though the disinfectant properties of iodine was known for decades, American scientist Jack Kessler tremendously improved upon it through years of research.

Iodine is a known antiseptic and there are several products based on iodine such as Povidone and Betadine already in the market. “Iodine suffers from two major problems. It has a nasty colour and is very unstable in normal conditions. Kessler has been able to solve both these problems, helping develop a formulation which is effective against a wide range of microbes, including viruses,” Kejriwal, who is 1974 IIT Kanpur chemical engineering graduate, told BusinessLine.

More importantly, while medical iodine products like povidone contain only 5 to 10 parts per million (ppm) iodine, iodine contained in the iodine sanitiser is close to 1,500 ppm, he said.

Benign disinfectant

“Iodine is very benign disinfectant with a long history of use. We have already submitted a formal application to the USFDA with the proof that this sanitiser is effective against novel coronavirus. We are hoping to get an Emergency Use Authorisation. We do not have any control over it,” said Kessler.

Both Kejriwal and Kessler said the iodine-based sanitiser will be first made available in India.

According to Kejriwal, unlike alcohol-based sanitiser, which requires repeated applications through the day, I2Cure is capable of providing protection for around 12 hours. Besides, the required quantity per application is just two drops, or 0.1 millimetre.

Besides, unlike alcohol sanitisers that leave skin dry and cracked, iodine nourishes and hydrates the skin. “Our recommended usage is that anybody going out should be put two drops of I2Cure each in the nostrils, on the lips and on the hands. This would be sufficient to provide day-long protection against COVID-19,” Kejriwal claimed.

The firm has already tied up with a contract manufacturer in Haridwar for producing I2Cure solution. “We hope to produce half a million bottles of 15 ml. India would account for only 5 per cent of our market as we have huge orders already waiting from West Asia, Latin American countries and the US,” he said.

One of the huge orders is to supply I2Cure to 3.5 lakh mosques in the world. Kejriwal said one of the reasons why many countries in the West Asia had so many cases was because they were averse to using alcohol-based sanitisers. I2Cure, which is extracted from seaweed from Japan and processed and stabilised in their lab in Virginia in the US, however has halal-certification, he said.

“We are confident that I2Cure would protect us from not just from coronavirus, but also from many bacterial and fungal infections which are very commonly-found in India,” Kejriwal, whose firm has another dozen novel products based on molecular iodine in the pipeline.

Published on October 07, 2020

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