GRED Group invests €4 million in Germitec
The GRED Group announces that it has provided financial support for Germitec, a company that develops and sells innovative disinfection systems for hospital hygiene. This €4M financing enables Germitec to meet the demand in the healthcare sector for a simple solution to ensure compliance with the new requirements in ultrasound probe disinfection. Thanks to this investment, Germitec will be able to expand its presence in the European market and apply for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in the United States.
The new global standards introducing requirements for disinfecting ultrasound probes and Germitec’s proven disinfection chamber technology convinced the GRED group to provide new financing for the company. With the new funds, Germitec aims to become the leader in the disinfection market, estimated at around €1 billion in high-income countries.
According to current guidelines, endo-cavity and transesophageal (TO) ultrasound probes must be disinfected between each use. In 2017, new requirements from the World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB1), the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (EFSUMB2) and the European Society of Radiology (ESR3) highlighted the need for High Level Disinfection (HLD). The traditional HLD techniques such as chemical soaking, the use of multiple wipes or semi-automated systems use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a toxic chemical product, are complex and take between 10 and 30 minutes4. Alternative solutions are therefore demanded, especially in the United States5.
Germitec offers an innovative approach by using UV disinfection thus creating the first photonic high-level disinfection (HLD) system. The company’s products, Antigermix AS1 for vaginal and rectal probes and Antigermix AE1 for TO probes, are high speed (≈90 seconds), easy to use and pose no toxic risk (neither fumes nor residues left on the instruments). In contrast to other HLD techniques, these products do not require any consumables, the probe does not need to be removed from the system at the end of disinfection process and it does not require rinsing. The system uses sensors to check that the disinfection has been successful, in contrast to chemical systems which are operatordependent. It uses a single plug socket and offers automatic traceability using RFID probe identification. There is no longer the need to manually update the traceability log book to ensure compliance for healthcare centers using such devices. Lastly, photonic disinfection has been shown to be effective against HPV6, which is a specific problem for endo-cavity ultrasound probes.
This automatic HLD photonic platform has increasingly been recognized by international authorities and societies, which consider it as an appropriate method for disinfecting ultrasound probes. These include the FNMR (French National Federation of Radiologists), WFUMB, ESR, EFSUMB and DEGUM (German Society for Ultrasound in Medicine). A number of authorities have also indicated that this new disinfection method shows a higher level of scientific evidence than others (NHS Scotland7) and is a true innovation (Rapid Review Panel, NHS UK8).
Used as a routine method, Antigermix achieves substantial savings for users by allowing them to increase by five-fold the number of examinations performed (Urology Department at the HEGP in Paris) or reduce the number of required probes to a fifth (IVF Department at Saint Joseph Marseille). Healthcare professionals can even substantially reduce the rate of probe breakage (Créteil Hospital).
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“We are very enthusiastic as this new investment will enable us to distribute our technology more widely. In Europe, we will create sales networks in the UK and Germany. In the US, where we receive many inquiries, we plan to start sales in early 2019. Germitec aims to provide a simple solution for sonographers now faced with more stringent disinfection requirements. Since the beginning of the year, we have sold four times as many systems as in the same period in 2017,” said Clément Deshays, founder and CEO of Germitec. “Our solution radically simplifies the lives of healthcare professionals. It gives them peace of mind so they can concentrate on their patients, without worrying about toxic chemical products, manual traceability or disinfection time. Antigermix works more quickly than the time it takes to bring the next patient in, which maximizes the number of examinations that can be performed daily without necessitating the purchase of additional probes. We are most grateful to our shareholders and users who, through their commitment, are creating a new standard in ultrasound practice.” “Since its creation, the GRED group has worked closely with radiologists and healthcare facilities. We quickly identified the issues posed by the disinfection of ultrasound probes in terms of toxicity, financial cost and planning management,” said René Deshays, founder and president of the GRED group. “We are very proud to continue to support Germitec’s growth by offering a unique, high-speed and non-chemical solution that integrates seamlessly into the regular workflow. GRED has always worked to serve the healthcare sector and we are aware of the issues faced by ultrasound professionals who have a very heavy workload and have (in many countries) very little recognition for their work. Along with Germitec, we are happy to provide them with a perfectly tailored solution in terms of organization and economic performance.”
Financial advisor: Comauditex -Legal advisor: M. Immelé
René Deshays created and leads the Groupe René Eric Deshays (GRED), a major stakeholder in the health sector in France, creating companies that become champions in their market segments. Notably, GRED is responsible for the distribution and servicing of Fujifilm radiology devices in France through the companies FMSF and TSR, that were sold to Fuji Photo Film in 2005. GRED also created and developed Softway Medical.
Created in 2005 and based in Ivry, near Paris, France, Germitec has 14 staff. It developed the first photonic ILD-HLD platform, Antigermix, which it intends to offer for a range of medical instruments such as ultrasound probes. The company is ISO 13485 certified. Germitec is an innovative company according to French investment bank BPI. A PM’UP prize winner, it was awarded the European Commission’s Certificate of Excellence as part of the Horizon 2020 projects. In 2017, the company generated sales of around €1.5 million ($1.75M).
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1 “Guidelines for Cleaning Transvaginal Ultrasound Transducers Between Patients”, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28190623
2 “Best Practice recommendations for cleaning and disinfection of ultrasound transducers whilst maintaining transducer integrity”, http://www.efsumb.org/safety/resources/2017-probe_cleaning.pdf
3 “Infection prevention and control in ultrasound - best practice recommendations from the European Society of Radiology Ultrasound Working Group”, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13244-017-0580-3
4 “Evaluation of a hydrogen peroxide-based system for high-level disinfection of vaginal ultrasound probes”, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24065261
5 “Emergency department ultrasound probe infection control: challenges and solutions”, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4806800/
6 “UVC radiation as an effective disinfectant method to inactivate human papillomaviruses”, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0187377
7 “Guidance for Decontamination of Semi-Critical Ultrasound Probes”, http://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/haiic/decontamination/resourcedetail.aspx?id=1703
8 “1502-02: Germitec – Antigermix AS1 Evaluated by the Rapid Review Panel”, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/410002/1502-02_Germitec_Antigermix_S1.pdf