Study Shows Cupron’s Copper-Infused Hospital Linens Reduce Infection Rates
Friday, December 21, 2018
Backed by research showing that its process for putting microbe-resistant copper into hospital linens can reduce infections, the Henrico County-based company Cupron is making a push to get its products into more health care settings.
Cupron recently announced that an 8-month-long study at six Sentara hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina showed that replacing regular linens such as patient gowns, bedsheets, washcloths and towels with copper-embedded linens significantly reduced occurrences of drug-resistant organisms, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
“We saw large and statistically significant reductions in some of the most frequent and stubborn types of infections,” said Jason Ellis, general manager of medical products for Cupron, which was founded in Israel and opened a U.S. office in Richmond in 2009.
Copper has natural antimicrobial properties, and Cupron developed a process to incorporate copper oxide into materials including soft apparel such as socks and hospital gowns.
Previous research has shown effectiveness from the company’s technology, including a 2016 study at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk that showed significant overall reductions in numerous drug-resistant organisms in patient rooms where copper-infused materials were used.
“This is now our fifth peer-reviewed, published study,” Ellis said. “This is the study the market has been waiting for because it was linens only, not one of several interventions.”
The most recent study, published in the November issue of The Journal of Hospital Infections, was also significant because it showed results at multiple health care facilities, Ellis said.
“The earlier studies were showing improvements in single facilities, but as with most innovations, the market wants you to be able to replicate your results and do so at scale,” he said.
The study encompassed more than 1,000 hospital beds and 175,000 patient days. It showed decreases in both Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, infections, which can cause dehydration and inflammation of the colon, and combined C. diff and other drug-resistant infections.
The study examined results over periods of 90 days, 180 days and 240 days. It showed reductions in infections caused by C. diff of 61 percent, 41 percent and 43 percent, respectively, per 10,000 patient hospitalization days, compared to baseline numbers.
It showed 60 percent, 40 percent and 37 percent reductions in infections per 1,000 patient days caused by C. diff infections and multidrug-resistant infections.
Cupron’s products will soon be used in the Ochsner Health System, a group of medical facilities in Louisiana. Ellis said the company is in discussions with other health care providers.
“We are now talking to [hospital] systems across the country, in addition to building new partnerships with hospital laundries,” he said. “They are a critical partners in this whole endeavor.”
With 10 employees, Cupron was based at VA Bio+Tech Park in downtown Richmond for six years. In 2016, the company moved to a 16,000-square-foot office and warehouse facility in eastern Henrico.