A Smart Coating

October 1, 2004
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The following is an interview with Bryan C.G. Glynson, CEO of Alistagen Corp.



Q: Why was Caliwel[tm] developed?

A: Because there is an urgent need to eliminate the impact of environmental mold and bacteria, and improve human health. The following statistics speak volumes.

  • Acute respiratory infections, including pneumonia and influenza, killed 3.5 million people worldwide in 1998 (WHO 1999); 20,000 - 40,000 in the United States every year.

  • Influenza rapidly spreads and imposes an economic burden in terms of health care costs and lost productivity. In the United States, for example, recent estimates put the cost of influenza epidemics to the economy at $71-167 billion per year (WHO; 2003 report).

  • 37 million people suffer sinus infections each year in the United States.

  • Pneumonia strikes approximately 4 million people (U.S.) per year, resulting in 600,000 hospitalizations.

  • Allergic rhinitis, as a conservative estimate, affects 40 to 50 million Americans. The U.S. sales for prescription therapeutics of this condition exceeds $3 billion annually.

  • Asthma affects 12 - 15 million Americans. It is responsible for 10.4 million physician visits annually. Children miss over 10 million school days a year, and $1 billion of productivity is lost in the workplace. Direct treatment costs for only one segment - that of pediatric asthma - approach $2 billion annually. U.S. health care costs attributable to asthma total approximately $7.5 billion annually.

  • 300,000 - 700,000 infections of Hepatitis A, B and C are registered in this country every year.

  • Even our homes are contaminated. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that nearly 30% of our nation's buildings suffer from unhealthy indoor air, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). This is costing North America about $100 billion each year in health care, absenteeism, lost production time and lost revenue.

  • A 1995 Study uncovered 13,550 staph infections, which claimed 1,400 lives in New York City alone. More than $435 million is spent annually in New York City hospitals to fight staph infections.

  • Infections are rampant, especially in hospitals. There is even a medical term for it: nosocomial infections (those which are acquired in hospitals). Two million such infections are registered in the United States every year; 260,000 of these hospital-born afflictions involve staphylococcus (11,400 per year in New York City). Even in the oncology units, more patients perish from infections than from cancer.

    This is only a partial list and does not include anthrax, SARS and other opportunistic infections. Therefore, anything that we can do to stem this tidal wave of tremendous human suffering, is a blessing. With Caliwel, we are launching a new frontier of infection control, free of risk or side effects. By averting infections, we are saving lives! This is where Caliwel really shines.

    Q: What is the status of commercialization of Caliwel? What is the sale strategy for this unique product? What channels of distribution are currently utilized?

    A: After 11 years spent in R&D and pursuing regulatory approval, Caliwel, since its introduction in late 2002, is well received among industrial users and certain private sectors. The current emphasis is on marketing and promoting the entire Caliwel product line as a preventative measure. We are hoping to influence the consumer's mind prior to damage being done.

    Product interest ranges from Infectious Disease Control specialists, the health care industry to leading coatings industry participants. It is a rare symmetry of any kind of product, capable of generating such a variety of interests ranging from the largest international pharmaceutical conglomerates, to big and small coatings companies, to many other industries in between.

    Only one thing binds all of them - the common goal to reduce the ever-growing negative impact of microbial presence. It is highly gratifying to have such ubiquitous and life-saving technology in commercialization and under our management.

    Presently, Alistagen is conducting negotiations under the management of a world-leading investment bank with several companies from diversified sectors to broaden the use and marketing efforts of Caliwel with BNA technology, and maximize its commercial potential.

    Presently, Alistagen is selling Caliwel directly via toll-free phone numbers (866/280.0001), our website (www.caliwel.com), through our distributors and hopefully soon through the major pharmacies nationwide as a "drop-ship" product. The extensive health care benefits of Caliwel warrant the sale of this product through drugstores, which is a rather unconventional way of distribution for a "paint-like" product. However, it is a hard sell to an asthma or severe allergy sufferer to look for a remedy in a hardware or home-improvement store. Credibility is also another decisive factor in the decision to sell it through the health care distribution in addition to the conventional paint channels.

    Our sales reps are selling directly to health care institutions. Several very large hospital chains have chosen Caliwel as their solution to address the ongoing battle with hospital-borne nosocomial infections and fungal growth; one of these is the largest state-owned U.S. hospital in New York City. Interestingly, many of them have asked not to be publicly recognized as having hospital-borne infection problems that need the Caliwel product in order to minimize the problem. We are receiving similar inquires on a daily basis from worried nursing homes, schools, hotel chains and nurseries.

    Q: Can you discuss the basic chemistry, including the mechanism of antimicrobial action? Can you describe the BNA bi-neutralizing agent and how it works?

    A: Caliwel is a revolutionary, one-application, antimicrobial-antibiotic surface coating effective against all classes of microbes including bacteria, viruses, fungus and algae.

    Caliwel combines calcium hydroxide as its active biocide with a special Bi-Neutralizing Agent (BNAÔ), a biopharmaceutical whose mode of action keeps Caliwel continuously working year after year.

    Caliwel is waterborne, fast drying, virtually odorless and remarkably contains no VOCs. It offers a widespread solution to the problems caused by the presence of the common microorganisms, and it has the potential to become a major global health solution. Using an antimicrobial agent registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Caliwel's multi-patented technology works by creating a surface coating that resists the growth of microbes on its surface for over six years.

    Effective minutes after application, Caliwel's BNA creates and maintains a long-lasting and hostile contact surface that, with the combined high alkalinity of pH 12.4, inhibits the growth of these microorganisms on the coating's surface for years to come.

    A Caliwel surface coating works by maximizing the broad-spectrum antimicrobial and preservative properties of calcium hydroxide, or hydrated lime. This naturally occurring mineral has a long history of widespread use in medicines, foods, bakery and commercial applications such as water and soil treatment. A proven microbiocide, calcium hydroxide protects the Caliwel coating's surface from deterioration caused by the common microorganisms: viruses, bacteria, mold, mildew, algae and fungi.

    Calcium hydroxide inhibits the growth of these common microorganisms on the coating's surface through its high alkalinity (at levels normally incompatible with the life of microorganisms). Normally, hydrated lime is highly susceptible to atmospheric attack - carbon dioxide in the air quickly converts calcium hydroxide to calcium carbonate, reducing its alkalinity and rendering it ineffective. However, Caliwel is different.

    In Caliwel, calcium hydroxide is safely stabilized by the patented technology of BNA - a semi-permeable calcium hydroxide-microencapsulated matrix system. This specially engineered matrix system protects hydrated lime from atmospheric degradation, preserving its antimicrobial-biocidal potency long after Caliwel is applied.

    What is truly unique for Caliwel is its benign nature to humans and its lethal nature to microbes. The active ingredient is coming from a naturally occurring mineral and has been used for centuries as a safe and effective way to kill pathogens.

    This is in contrast to all presently known antimicrobial agents that use synthetically engineered compounds, which are specifically made to kill microorganisms. A wide use of those powerful biocidal synthetic compounds has potential to create a biological imbalance, whereas calcium hydroxide has been part of our daily lives since the beginning of humanity.

    Q: What type of resin system is used, e.g. acrylic, vinyl acrylic?

    A: The polyolefin latex and the cellulosic polymers make this technology so effective. Calcium hydroxide is not compatible with any of the conventional plastic/elastic latices.

    Q: Does it come in colors?

    A: The product is formulated in 10 designer colors, with consultation from psychologists for emotional comfort. We really tried to think about the properties that relate to our consumer. The available colors are listed below (custom colors can be formulated by special order):

  • Guardian (white)

  • Clear Horizon (pink)

  • Peaceful Glow (yellow)

  • Comfort Zone (blue)

  • Calm Haven (green)

  • Twilight Sentry (grey)

  • Trusted Fortress (off-white)

  • Rest Assured (cream)

  • Warm Hearth (beige)

  • Serene Harbor (beige with blue hue)

    Q: What other products does Alistagen hold in its pipeline?

    A: Alistagen has a commitment to enhancing human life through innovative and safe health care. Our diversified, proprietary pharmaceutical and coating products are at various stages of development. Our portfolio includes treatments for asthma, allergies, tooth and gum disease, antifungal nail treatment, topical treatments, anti-infective respiratory disorders, inflammatory conditions, and immune system disorders. Our novel compounds have tremendous potential to transform the future of preventive medicine that will unavoidably have an effect on the coatings industry.

    Q: Did Alistagen partner or contract with a company or institution experienced in coatings technology to develop the coating product?

    A: We had a very early start in 1995 engaging Southwest Research Institute, the largest R&D organization in the States, to assist Alistagen in creating what was even then recognized as a project of large importance.

    The main objective was to technically formulate the very first antimicrobial, liquid antibiotic, along with the non-toxic, long lasting, durable and effective physical and mechanical properties of the coating material. As a result, today we have the fully formulated product protected with 16 patents and seemingly a very bright future. Recently, the UMR Coatings Institute has been working with Alistagen in taking our Caliwel product line to an even higher technological level.

    Q: What type of finishes is the product offered in, e.g. flat, satin, semigloss?

    A: Presently, we can deliver Caliwel only as a flat coating. Our customer feedback so far is telling us that consumers who have severe problems (mold, sinus infections, microbial contamination outbreaks, asthma, allergy-related or immuno-compromised problems, or hospitals fighting hospital-borne infections) are not too concerned over the type of finish. This becomes an issue with single-faceted paints that offer only color and type of finish.

    Q: Can you discuss the market for these kinds of products, in terms of growth, other participants, or other developments?

    A: The product was formulated with one principal objective - to revolutionize the health care industry. What comes with that subsequently and inadvertently is also a direct impact on the coatings industry. It is very interesting to see in play technology like BNA coming from the pharmaceutical industry and penetrating into the well-established coatings industry. Alistagen was the first to pioneer the whole new segment in the coatings industry now widely accepted as Smart Paints. Caliwel, the Smart Paint, is viewed by many as the future of preventative medicine and the future of the coatings industry.

    The markets are driven by large numbers of people who are affected with respiratory-associated illnesses, primarily asthma and allergies, which accounts for 40% of the world population. Recent medical studies have revealed the link between mold and sinus infections, which is among the most prevailing illness. Along with the private sector, industries are looking to reduce the cost of fighting increased levels of microbes, whether in the environment or on a coated surface. Hospitals and nursing homes are primary examples. Hotels and motels are looking at Caliwel as a solution to a very large mold problem, along with private homes inundated with mold. Property protection is important, aside from its medicinal benefit.

    Late last year Alistagen received another EPA registration for the exclusive use of Caliwel as an OEM product for HVACs. I believe this to be among the first approval by the EPA of such kind. There is a huge market opportunity for the utilization of Caliwel in the HVAC market. We are actively pursuing potential partners to assist us in global commercialization.

    The future for this technology seems very promising. The few presently registered EPA products all suffer from a common toxic issue syndrome.

    Q: Could you discuss the test results involving specific agents? Your news announcement mentions the bacteria Bacillus subtilus and a patent application, and new additional uses of BNA.

    A: Six, large, independent U.S. labs have conducted batteries of tests on Caliwel, many of which were part of our long regulatory approval process that we have obtained from the U.S. EPA in 2002. The test results showed Caliwel being effective against 20 life-threatening microorganisms that trigger illnesses such as influenza, pneumonia, hepatitis, sinus infections, allergies and asthma. Remarkably, Caliwel was effective in killing anthrax spores as well. (Test results are available from the company.)

    The new uses of the BNA mode of action are already in progress. A large pharmaceutical company is looking for commercial development of the BNA mode of action in oral and derma topical applications.

    Q: What do you foresee as the future for Caliwel?

    A: Caliwel is growing in the industry. Besides its remarkable biological activity, the product has no VOCs and already complies with the EPA's regulations set to take place and affect every paint product in the next five years. The Caliwel product line can contribute to our economy by preventing loss of productivity and saving taxes and health insurance.

    I envision Caliwel to become a household word, to be known and valued by everyone, its logo to be displayed in every public place in the nation. Airports, post offices, fitness centers, spas, motels - actually, every institution - should proudly display the insignia of Caliwel to announce to its patrons: "Yes, we care enough about you to protect your health."

    For more information, contact Alistagen Corporation, Ten Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016; phone 212/317.0100; fax 212/289.5118; visit www.alistagen.com; or e-mail Information@Alistagen.com.

    A Smart Coating for Our Protection

    We often assume that whatever is touted as "new" is only a twist on the old, another way of presenting the familiar, or a market spin. Caliwel is a product that really is new - and not a twist or a variation of the old.

    We take antibiotics to fight the bacteria from inside our bodies, but antibiotics can potentially harm the hosts (that's you and me) and weaken the immune system, resulting in greater susceptibility to future infections, perhaps even shortening our life span.

    We all know that healing comes from within, but remedies, drugs and medications do come from the outside. Instead of popping pills and becoming a walking pharmacy, instead of tolerating a myriad of side effects and suffering from the resulting toxicity of drug treatment, our approach is to shield our bodies by treating our surroundings. Our goal is to create a hostile environment for disease-causing microorganisms in our homes, on our walls etc., and not inside our bodies.

    This revolutionary concept - the brainchild of Bryan Glynson - prompted the painstaking research and development of a "Smart Coating" called Caliwel, manufactured by the Alistagen Corp. This unique product, available now in 10 attractive colors, is impregnated with an exclusive, non-toxic, antibiotic composite, which acts to prevent infections. Let your walls do the work!

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