Killing the virus in the air can help Irish businesses get back to work

McGreal’s pharmacy chain was so impressed with the benefits of Irish-made Novaerus technology during Covid-19 that they now sell the units

Kilian McGreal: “We felt that installing the devices in our outlets was the right thing to do in terms of going the extra mile to protect staff and customers”

By the time the St Patrick’s Day festival was cancelled in early March, Kilian McGreal knew what was coming. As Covid-19 began to bite down on businesses and communities, the owner of the McGreal’s Pharmacy group moved quickly, managing to secure a bulk supply of the PPE equipment he knew his staff and customers would soon need. 

In addition to stocking up on masks and hand sanitizer, McGreal’s became one of the first businesses in Ireland to install perspex screens in their 11 outlets across Leinster. They then implemented a range of measures, novel at the time but all too familiar now: one customer at a time, card payments only, spaced-out queuing, rigorous surface decontamination.

“The new rules took a little getting used to but everyone was reassured, both customers and our hard-working staff,” says McGreal. “People got the hang of things and business remained steady. We had taken steps to maintain hand and surface hygiene and then I decided to close the loop by addressing the third crucial element – air.”

The Dublin-based air disinfection specialists Novaerus had approached McGreal’s to demonstrate its range of medical-grade air disinfection units. The company explained how viruses such as Covid-19 can be transported along air currents, dispersing over absolute undefined distances and swirling in the air, where they can be inhaled. This process is known as ‘aerosol’ transmission.

Airborne spread of virus

“One of the transmission methods for Covid-19 is respiratory droplets that are caused by people simply breathing or coughing and sneezing, which is why we keep our (social) distance, wash our hands and disinfect surfaces,” says McGreal. “But many health authorities are considering the possibility that the virus also travels through the air and can infect people who breathe it in,” says McGreal. 

The scientist who spearheaded the discovery of the Ebola virus warned that the coronavirus was highly infectious due to the amount of virus in the throat and that it was something you could catch by talking to somebody.

As part of the prevention process, a ‘kill’ technology is required to disinfect air, not just a filtering process. Novaerus technology does just that – kills airborne decontaminates including viruses.

“We have patented a non-selective killing technology that combines rapid air disinfection and purification in a single portable device,” says Michael Corr of Novaerus, which is part of the WellAir organisation, also headquartered in Ireland. 

“Our devices use a patented ultra-low energy plasma technology that laboratory studies have shown eliminates 99.99 per cent of MS2 Bacteriophage, a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing  Covid-19,” says Corr. 

Manufactured in Portlaoise, the Novaerus devices are compact (the entry-level model is about the size of a shoebox), and can easily be moved from room to room – you simply plug and play.

Novaerus Protect 200 mounted to wall in small office space

“The units are completely safe with no harmful by-products, they require little maintenance, and use less energy than a 40-watt light bulb,” says Corr. “We manufacture three products; the NV200, the NV800 and the top-of-the-line Defend 1050. The technology has been independently tested by more than 30 laboratories and credited with a kill rate of 99.99 per cent on airborne viruses and bacteria.”

Irish firms getting back to work

For any Irish business looking to reboot as part of the post-Covid economy, this is eye-catching news. 

Around Ireland, shops and offices, schools and creches, doctors’ and dental surgeries, solicitors’ firms, tech companies, healthcare facilities, factories, anywhere in fact that large numbers of people share an indoor space, are all grappling with issues of safety, hygiene, and reassurance.

Novaerus Defend 1050 combines rapid air dis-infection and purification into a powerful and safe portable device for larger spaces. 

The role of clean, disinfected air in preventing the spread of Covid-19 might be catching on in Ireland, but elsewhere it is a well-established fact of life and business. 

“Novaerus technology has already been recognised and officially registered by Chinese health authorities; the Irish-made devices are installed in 4 out of 5 ambulances in Seoul, South Korea, while the Karolinska Institute in Sweden (which issues the Nobel Prize) is currently undergoing an intense study. All told, Novaerus products are deployed in 58 countries worldwide,” says Corr. 

Here, Novaerus technology is helping Irish companies in multiple sectors to get back to work. 

Novaerus is closing the infection prevention loop by adding air disinfection as the final piece of the jigsaw

“We felt that installing the devices in our outlets was the right thing to do in terms of going the extra mile to protect staff and customers,” says McGreal. “But I also felt it would help the business get through a difficult time and that hunch was 100 per cent correct. 

“During Covid-19, our group traded significantly above the industry average,” he adds. “We also saw a huge growth in online engagement, with the Novaerus products a major source of interest and an actual point of differentiation in the hygiene space. 

“It started to occur to us that not only home users but other businesses may benefit from the technology,” says McGreal. “The Novaerus technology can not only help with the current viral outbreak but reduces all indoor air contaminates including bacteria, fungi, spores, etc. This led to a conversation with Novaerus about us taking on national distribution for them, and here we are.” 

As official supplier, McGreals have sold to industries and clients in health food, pubs and restaurants, professional services (offices), retail and shopping centres, veterinary, cosmetic surgery, dermatology, opticians, solicitors, undertakers, and other pharmacies. 

One business is The Temple Bar Company, which represents one of the busiest and most trafficked areas in the country. Martin Harte, CEO says: “Getting Temple Bar back open for business in a safe and compliant manner is paramount for us. We have done extensive research on what we can do to reach the highest safety and hygiene standards. As a group, we reviewed a wide range of Irish designed and developed products and we chose Novaerus as they exceed our requirements by increasing the air sanitation of the premises and the overall wellbeing of the environment for our members employees and their customers.” 

Manufacture of the devices has increased substantially at Novaerus’ Portlaoise facility as demand for the technology surges. And as more businesses both at home and abroad look at ways of safely opening offices and other indoor spaces, interest seems likely to grow. 

“In terms of killing the virus in the air, in our opinion there’s nothing out there that comes close,” says McGreal. “Traditionally, surface and hand decontamination has been the standard but now on a global scale, Novaerus is closing the infection prevention loop by adding air dis-infection as the final piece of the jigsaw.”


For more information on the Novaerus air dis-infection devices, call the McGreals Group on +353 (0)45 397 202, email novaerus@mcgreals.ie or visit mcgreals.ie/novaerus/

Research confirms virus-killing power of Novaerus device

As healthcare and other sectors grapple with issue of people sharing indoor spaces, research suggests disinfected air can prevent the spread of Covid-19

On the morning of 4 February 2020, the massive, sleek shape of the Diamond Princess cruise ship appeared in the port of Yokohama, Japan. It was an unscheduled stop.

Three days previously, a man disembarking the ship had tested positive for Covid-19. Already sailing in Japanese waters, the Diamond Princess was immediately quarantined at Yokohama with a total of 3,711 people on board. All passengers were tested and confined to their cabins (many of which have no windows or balconies).

One can only imagine the tedium, anxiety and spiralling panic in those cooped-up cabins as more than 700 people on board became infected with the virus. A total of 12 people died before the last remaining passengers were allowed off the ship on 16 February.

Air quality an infection risk

As other ships fell victim to the virus – as of May 2020, more than 40 cruise ships had reported positive cases – a question arose. If passengers were isolating in their cabins, i.e. not touching contaminated surfaces or in contact with one another, how were so many becoming infected? Part of the answer, of course, is the air they were breathing.

Although respiratory droplets are still considered the primary transmission route for the virus – hence the emphasis on hygiene and social distancing measures – there is increasing awareness of the ‘aerosol’ or airborne spread of the virus that comes from dried particles dispersing over long distances and circulating in the air.

This leaves not only cruise ships but hospitals and other healthcare facilities, residential care homes, schools, public transport hubs and industrial facilities urgently pondering their air quality and building ventilation.

Disinfected air can prevent virus spread

As countries look to emerge from lockdown, any organisation wondering how to deal with large numbers of people sharing indoor spaces will be interested in mounting research that suggests clean, disinfected air can prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

For Novaerus, an Irish company specialising in medical-grade clean air solutions, this insight falls firmly in the sweet spot.

The Dublin-based tech firm, part of the global WellAir company, has just announced hugely significant independent test results for its most powerful solution, the Defend 1050. The patented, portable air disinfection device has been proven to reduce MS2 Bacteriophage (a surrogate for Covid-19) by 99.99% in just 15 minutes.

How the Defend 1050 works

The Defend 1050 combines rapid air dis-infection and purification in a single portable device. Designed for continuous, rapid air cleaning in large spaces, especially where there is a high risk of infection, the Defend 1050 uses ultra-low energy plasma technology combined with a triple-stage filtration system.

As Novaerus plasma is a non-selective killing technology, the product represents a unique and safe way of eliminating airborne viruses 24/7, vastly reducing the risk of disease and infectious outbreaks.

“Infection can be transmitted on air currents over distances, by direct and indirect contact, or by a combination of all three routes,” says Dr Felipe Soberon, Chief Technology Officer at WellAir, the parent company of Novaerus. “Independent tests prove that the Defend 1050 is ideal for mitigating the risk of airborne dissemination of infection and contamination of surfaces and hands by reducing the bioburden in the air.”

To test the Defend 1050, Aerosol Research and Engineering (ARE) Laboratories investigated how effectively the device could remove small aerosolized viral particles from the air, simulating how the device might work on capturing the particles that carry infectious viruses.

The GLP-certified lab performed the experiments in its US Bioaerosol Test Chamber, which measures 16m3 – about the size of a small room. The Defend 1050 was placed in this sealed environment with aerosolized MS2 bacteriophage, commonly used as a surrogate for the influenza virus and now considered a surrogate for Covid-19.

“Obliteration” of airborne virus

At the 15-minute mark, test results showed that the Defend 1050 had reduced the MS2 bacteriophage by 99.99%, almost completely obliterating the airborne bacteriophage.

“The methods used by labs like Aerosol Research and Engineering are informed by consensus standards and established by international bodies and scientists,” says Dr Kevin Devlin, CEO at WellAir. “We’re confident that the tests are indicative of how effective the Defend 1050 can be when removing viruses, like coronavirus, from the air.”

The efficiency of the Defend 1050 has also been recognised by Chinese health authorities and registered on China’s official platform for disinfection products. Many hospitals worldwide have also installed Novaerus technology to help reduce the transmission of Covid-19 among both staff and patients.

As organisations and Governments grapple with infection prevention, Novaerus is part of the ‘Irish tech charge’ leading the fight against the virus. As well as healthcare facilities, the technology is being used in senior living facilities, schools, and other buildings in more than 40 countries worldwide.

“To successfully control the spread of pathogens and viruses, we need to close the infection control loop of hands, surfaces and air,” says Dr Kevin Devlin, CEO at WellAir. “Our unique technology is a facility’s first line of defence against infectious outbreaks.”

McGreals Group are proud to have partnered with Novaerus to bring this groundbreaking technology to the retail market.

Click here for more information

Unique air disinfection device proven to kill viruses in the air

A unique air disinfection product designed and manufactured in Ireland by the Irish company Novaerus, is now available for businesses and the general public through the McGreals Pharmacy Group, a healthcare focused business based in Co. Wicklow.

The product which has been endorsed by Enterprise Ireland is being used in hospitals and health care settings around the world including Wuhan, China. Following increased interest and demand in Ireland from consumers and businesses, Novaerus approached the McGreals Pharmacy Group to bring the product to the Irish retail market.

This ground breaking air disinfection device decontaminates the air and kills any airborne viruses and bacteria. It is patented and has a unique design scientifically proven for airborne infection prevention.

It closes the loop in terms of the importance of disinfecting hands and surfaces and now that third crucial element, air. By drawing air through the clinically proven and patented Air Plasma field it immediately destroys airborne viruses – all while using less energy than a 40 watt light bulb.

With no harmful by products, they are safe for use around children, the elderly, and the sick. They are simple to use, low maintenance and highly effective for rapid or continuous infection control, odour mitigation and particle reduction.

County Meath based vet, Dr. Fionnuala Fallon, has recently purchased a unit through the McGreals Pharmacy Group for her practice, Park Pets Veterinary Clinic Kinnegad, which is helping her to provide the safest working environment possible for her staff and customers.

Dr. Fallon, said, “Since the government issued guidelines, and included veterinary practices on their list of essential services, we have made changes to how we operate our veterinary clinics. All cases are triaged by telephone, and only urgent cases are seen at present. Where we do have to see an urgent case we ensure we follow strict Covid-19 guidelines and social distancing measures are in place at this time to protect clients and staff.

We are, of course, using high grade disinfectants and hand sanitizers. We do not allow routine visits to hospitalised patients as per government guidelines, but there are occasions when clients must come in to see their pets – especially if they are critically ill. Sometimes we need to perform euthanasias, and clients wish to say goodbye.

We wear PPE in these rare instances, and in a further effort to keep my staff and clients safe I decided to purchase the groundbreaking air disinfection unit for the clinic. We are aware that guidelines will relax at some point, and the air disinfection unit will continue to provide a cutting edge level of disinfection for our staff, clients and patients on an ongoing basis.”

This innovative technology has also been at the forefront of fighting the coronavirus in China following donations of several units to two hospitals in Wuhan.

Michael Corr, Novaerus Director of Business Development, said, ”Due to the growing concerns over the coronavirus presence in Ireland and following a recent Irish times article and interview on the RTE news highlighting our support against the virus in other countries including its origin in China, we received many requests for our devices from the general public and retail businesses.

As an Irish company based in Dublin with our manufacturing in Portlaoise, our success is through channel partners across the world. We needed a partner to help us support the Irish public and retail businesses to receive our technology quickly and efficiently and that’s why I approached Kilian McGreal at the McGreals Pharmacy Group. We are now working with the McGreals Group to help both businesses and people in their own homes. It’s a real success story! “

Kilian McGreal, Managing Director of the McGreals Pharmacy Group, said, “We are delighted to be working with Novaerus to bring this product to the Irish retail market. Having installed the units in all of our pharmacies; we know we are protecting the health of our team and customers by providing the safest environment possible”.

To buy a Novaerus air disinfection unit you can contact the McGreals Pharmacy Group directly on 085 763 2247 or email info@mcgreals.ie