Cupron making copper infused, reusable, masks
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has brought attention like never before to Henrico County-based Cupron Inc. Cupron’s mission always has been to make products that help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The company developed proprietary methods for blending copper, which has natural anti-microbial characteristics, into such products as hospital linens, medical gowns, socks, towels, and countertops. Its customers include hospitals, which use its products to help prevent the spread of infections.
Cupron was founded in Israel and opened its U.S. headquarters in what is now called the Virginia Bio+Tech Park in 2008. It is now based in eastern Henrico.
These days, the company is getting a lot of calls from existing and new customers seeking access to a product that didn’t even exist two months ago: Copper-infused, reusable face masks.
“We have essentially created a new category of face masks,” said Jason Ellis, the company’s general manager of medical products. “It is a reusable copper face mask that helps protect the wearer from cross contamination.”
When the pandemic hit, Cupron first collaborated with its manufacturing partners to donate 2,000 masks for health care workers. Then the company started to get inquiries from existing and new customers about the need for more face masks.
“In the space of six weeks, we prtotyped two masks models and were able to deploy them,” said Chris Andrews, the company’s CEO.
The company now has sold more than 100,000 of its copper-infused masks, which can be laundered and reused with a long life cycle.
Sentara Healthcare in Virginia ordered more than 22,000 masks. Another 33,000 have been ordered by University Hospitals, a network of 18 hospitals in northern Ohio with more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities and 200 physician offices.
“These customers now include hospitals, long-term care providers, different elements of the U.S. Navy, FEMA and laundry service providers,” Ellis said.
“And where we are seeing growth now is from companies that are preparing to reopen and want to protect their workers, along with universities.”
Cupron works with third-party manufacturers to make its copper-infused products. One of the key manufacturing partners is London Bridge Trading Co., a maker of protective clothing in Virginia Beach.
“We brought some production to the U.S., so a significant portion of what we provide is made in Virginia solely, or made in the USA,” Ellis said.