UBC’s Faculty of Medicine starts testing UVX’s human-safe ultra-violet technology

September 1, 2021

Vancouver, BC, Sept. 1, 2021 — UVX is excited to announce that the Division of Infectious Diseases, within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC), has commenced testing of UVX’s core technology: filtered 222nm Far-UVC light produced by UVX’s flagship Zener device. The tests will be conducted at the Jack Bell Research Centre.

Filtered 222nm Far-UVC light, unlike conventional ultra-violet (UV) light, has been proven to be safe for humans while remaining lethal for pathogens. This is because Far-UVC light is absorbed by dead skin cells and the outer tear film of the eye before it can reach living cells to cause any damage, in the short- or long-term. However, as pathogens are much smaller, the light penetrates them, damaging their DNA/RNA, killing them and preventing them from replicating. This offers an opportunity to continually disinfect indoor environments as people interact without disrupting occupants or the facility’s operations.

“It really is a ‘sweet spot’ in the UV spectrum with the perfect marriage of the body’s biology and the light’s physics. Scientists around the world have researched this technology for almost a decade and it’s about time engineers commercialized it for the pandemic and beyond.” – Saimir Sulaj, Co-founder and CTO of UVX

The project will be the first of its kind in Canada, testing for filtered Far-UVC’s efficacy against various pathogens (both surface and aerosolized) as well as for cytotoxicity on human cell lines. Data obtained from this independent study, supplemented with other university studies over the years, will support regulatory approval of UVX’s technology in Canada and beyond.

Left to right: Dr. Horacio Bach and Dr. Ana Lorenzo-Leal at the Jack Bell Research Centre.

The study will be led by Dr. Horacio Bach, a Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Manager of the IIRC Proteomic and Antibody Engineering Facility, who has been one of Canada’s leading COVID-19 researchers. He will be supported by Dr. Ana Cecilia Lorenzo-Leal, a postdoctoral researcher at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and cytotoxicity expert.

“Far-UVC light is an attractive technology because of its antimicrobial activity that can be used as a safe disinfection system. This is an inspiring project because this form of UV light can inactivate microorganisms in minutes, and is therefore useful when a rapid disinfection system is required without the risk of toxicity. Installing Far-UVC could mitigate transmissibility of pathogens in places with a high risk of infection such as long-term care homes and other healthcare facilities.” – Dr. Horacio Bach, Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine

The study will culminate with its results being published in a peer-reviewed journal.

About University of British Columbia (UBC)

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a global center for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Specifically, UBC’s Faculty of Medicine is ranked among the world’s leading medical schools with the fifth-largest MD enrollment in North America, making the university a leader in both the science and practice of medicine.

About UVX Inc.

UVX is an award-winning Vancouver, British Columbia company recognized as a Canadian health-tech startup to watch in 2021. The company, which was founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, consists of a team of engineers, scientists, and designers on a mission to increase disinfection in our communities using human-safe ultra-violet light.