Aussie product that ‘kills’ virus
A bright pink, lemon-scented liquid is the first Australian disinfectant able to legally claim it "kills" coronavirus.
Viraclean, a hospital-grade surface disinfectant produced by the Whiteley Corporation in NSW, was recently granted the addition of "Kills Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2" to its label by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. The virus causes COVID-19 infection.
The product, made in the Hunter Region, is not intended for use directly on people, for treating a patient or on medical devices and other therapeutic goods.
Whiteley Corporation chairman Dr Greg Whiteley said Viraclean is suitable for use in certain hospital and healthcare situations including cleaning up spills of blood and other bodily fluids.
"The hospital surfaces around a patient who is infected with this virus will be contaminated by the patient shedding the virus," he said.
Last month, the TGA said manufacturers "wishing to make label claims of efficacy against COVID-19" for hard surface disinfectants could lab test against two "surrogate viruses".
"In the event that either Human coronavirus 229E or Murine hepatitis virus cannot be used, consideration will be given to use of other human or animal coronaviruses. Viruses that have been suggested include Bovine coronavirus and Feline coronavirus," the TGA said.
Dr Whiteley said in terms of their disinfecting capacity, the surrogate viruses perform "identically" to the novel coronavirus.
Following recent changes to the Guidelines for Disinfectants under Therapeutic Goods Order 104, Whiteley Corporation can confirm VIRACLEAN® has the first newly approved label claim for killing SARS-CoV-2(COVID-19) virus on contaminated hospital surfaces. https://t.co/uvrbpBvYQd pic.twitter.com/bYvjfZ55rT— Whiteley Corporation (@WhiteleyCorp) April 2, 2020
"Using a surrogate protects the laboratory staff but allows a scientifically accurate representation of the disinfectant performance against all of the Coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus," he said.
Viraclean wipes out a broad range of bacteria and is proven effective against viruses including hepatitis B, herpes simplex and influenza, according to its public summary on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
It has also been used for cleaning by airlines including Qantas, TIME reports.
In February, the TGA said it had identified certain therapeutic goods such as disinfectants being "inappropriately promoted for the prevention of treatment of novel coronavirus infections in Australia".
"If you are intending to promote a disinfectant with explicit claims about killing novel coronavirus, to satisfy the Code requirements, you must have studies conducted with novel coronavirus to demonstrate this (compliance with the Therapeutic Goods Orders relating to disinfectants is not sufficient)," it said.
"In addition, prior restricted representation approval by TGA is needed."
In an update last week, the TGA said "due to COVID-19, all disinfectant applications in relation to claims against COVID-19 are being expedited as a matter of priority".
The regulatory body said there has been "significant interest" from potential sponsors and manufacturers on the regulation and supply of disinfectants.
The Department of Health confirmed to news.com.au on Friday that Viraclean had been approved for making claims against coronavirus.
Originally published as Aussie product that 'kills' virus