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Super Bugs To Be Wiped Out By Welsh Grapefruit

Kiwi Super Bugs To Be Wiped Out By Welsh Grapefruit

Grapefuit-based Welsh Product May Be Used To Battle Kiwi 'Super-Bug'

Auckland, 14 July 2004 - The hospital 'super-bug', Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), which has been prevalent in New Zealand hospitals may have at long last met its match thanks to a single use bactericidal wipe invented and developed in Wales.

The Impy Wipe, which uses bactericide derived from grapefruit extract, is a single use personal wipe that can also be used to clean work surfaces that have been contaminated with bacteria such as MRSA, Salmonella and Listeria.

The Welsh inventor, Antony Rolls, is confident that hospitals around the world, including New Zealand will benefit in the battle against 'superbugs' using the Impy Wipes. The Welsh Government has introduced new measures to tackle the hospital superbug and health professionals are already using the grapefruit-based wipes on wards in South Wales Hospitals to clean surfaces and prevent cross infection.

"I'm delighted with the interest in the Impy Wipes. By using these single-use wipes to eliminate harmful bacteria on surfaces and minimising the potential of cross-infection the risk of acquiring infections in hospitals can be greatly reduced. Another novel aspect to the Impy Wipe is that the wipe itself is environmentally friendly in that it is biodegradable whereas many currently available on the market are not," says Antony Rolls.

Antony, who is a member of the Welsh Development Agency's Wales Innovators Network (WIN), picked up a silver award for his Impy Wipe as one of fourteen WIN members that showcased their inventions at the International Inventors Exhibition in Geneva earlier this year.

Antony believes that with nearly 7,000 patients currently affected by MRSA each year in the UK alone and with approximately 5,000 Britons dying annually from infections acquired in hospitals, his invention will also attract a great deal of interest in New Zealand.

WIN Programme Manager, Tony Guile says that global interest in the Impy Wipes has been significant and this would soon extend to New Zealand.

"As a result of attending the Geneva Inventions Exhibition Antony made contact with several interested parties including one major pharmaceutical company and potential distributors for Turkey and Singapore."

"We are delighted that yet another Welsh innovator is experiencing success with their ideas. With assistance from a Welsh Development Agency grant to develop a prototype of his product Antony has been able develop his idea and bring it to the national and international market."

WIN, which is funded by the Welsh Assembly and managed by the WDA, promotes innovators based in Wales and helps with the commercialisation of their ideas. It is a free support service and offers a range of professional advice, practical support and commercial connections to its members.

The WDA manage a Wales-wide network of twenty-one Innovation and Technology Counsellors that visit on average 2,500 companies during the course of a year providing free, independent, impartial advice on how companies and individuals can benefit from innovation.

The WDA's Know-How Wales programme provides a locally-based, but Wales-wide, source of free, comprehensive and independent advice to businesses and institutions in support of the commercialisation of technology, innovation and R&D. Know-How Wales encourage the formation of additional and more effective collaborations between business and academic partners.

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