Infection Control Seizes Headlines as Companies Look to Tackle Food-Borne Illnesses

Infection Control Seizes Headlines as Companies Look to Tackle Food-Borne Illnesses News Commentary

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 2019

NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The growing concern over infectious diseases developing in facilities, such as hospitals, has caused a demand for products to combat the spread. These diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi and can be spread directly or even indirectly from one person to another, according to the World Health Organization. Practitioners are thusly seeking products that help sanitize and disinfect spaces in order to prevent the spread of these diseases. Even still, in some instances, these infections can originate in animals before spreading to humans. This phenomenon has helped spur demand for a way to combat this possibility within the food processing industry. According to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global infection control market was valued at USD 150.4 Billion in 2016. Furthermore, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% throughout the forecast period from 2018 to 2025. The market is primarily being driven by a rising number of government initiatives to ensure high degree infection prevention. There are also government organizations which are involved with issuing guidelines to ensure awareness and promote sanitary health practices. PCT Ltd. (OTC: PCTL), Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CAG), Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE: FLO), CorMedix Inc. (NYSE: CRMD), Achaogen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAO)

Annually, it is estimated that 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die according to statistics by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The top five cases of foodborne illnesses are norovirus, salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter, and Staphylococcus aureus (Staph). The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that foodborne illnesses cost more than USD 15.6 Billion each year. And in order to prevent infections, the World Health Organization issued guidelines and safety practices. However, companies have now stepped up and developed products and machinery to help prepare foods without contamination. "Sometimes foods we love to eat and rely on for good health are contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause illness, and can be deadly for certain people. Efforts that focus on foods responsible for many illnesses are needed to protect people and reduce foodborne illnesses in America," said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PCT Ltd. (OTC: PCTL) through its operating subsidiary, Paradigm Convergence Technologies Corporation (PCT Corp), earlier last week the company announced that, "it has received a repeat order for two large volume Hydrolyte® Systems from one of its existing food processing customers. The referenced food processing customer's plant currently has two systems at one facility and purchased another large volume system from PCT as a result of their 2018 plant expansion.

Jody Read, CEO of PCT LTD, commented, 'PCT's history of providing its customers with quality equipment that is designed for supportability and built with higher standards has allowed PCT's systems to last longer and with minimal downtime. Our R&D group, headed by Stuart Emmons, P.E., has developed newer and better designs as well as improved reliability.'

PCT's new design is being incorporated into all its large volume Hydrolyte® systems that are being used in Agricultural and Oil & Gas markets. The ability to produce thousands of gallons per day, per system, allows for the post-harvest disinfection of fruits and vegetables for agricultural food processing. The Hydrolyte® fluid solutions can also be used to treat existing oil or gas wells to reduce hydrogen sulfide in "sour wells," to reduce maintenance problems, and also to disinfect fracking water used in hydraulic fracturing.

About PCT LTD: PCT LTD ("PCTL") focuses its business on acquiring, developing and providing sustainable, environmentally safe disinfecting and tracking technologies products. The company acquires and holds rights to innovative products and technologies, which are commercialized through its wholly-owned operating subsidiary, Paradigm Convergence Technologies Corporation (PCT Corp). Currently trading on OTC, "PCTL" aspires to and is actively engaged in preparations for up-listing its common stock to a national securities exchange. The Company established entry into its target markets with commercially-viable products and now prepares to gain market share.

PCT Corp's business mission is to profitably provide state-of-the-art Electro-Chemical Activation equipment, disinfecting fluid solutions and PCT Corp's patented tracking system to hospitals and other facilities for the documentable remediation of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI's) from organisms such as Clostridium difficile (C. diff.), MRSA, VRE, CRE, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas, as well as to sell ECA fluid solutions to agricultural markets for the remediation, control and suppression of microbial contamination and disease of certain commercial crops. The Company's primary fluid solution, branded Hydrolyte®, is an EPA registered "hospital-level" disinfectant effective against common healthcare pathogens such as Tuberculosis (TB), HIV-1, Hepatitis C, Norovirus, Rhinovirus, Influenza A, Candida albicans, and more; food processing bacteria including E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella; and organisms of veterinarian concern such as parvovirus, distemper and Bordetella. PCT Corp.'s proprietary equipment product line includes: 1) PCT Hydrolyte® Generators, 2) PCT Annihilyzer® Infection Control Systems, and 3) SurvivaLyte® equipment. The Hydrolyte® Generators produce large volumes of electrolyzed water for the agriculture, oil and gas, and fluid distribution markets. The Annihilyzer® Infection Control Systems, which boast patented RFID material tracking technology, Electrostatic Smart Applicators, on-site automated ECA generators, and Green Seal standards containing stringent performance, health, and sustainability criteria, are ideal for hospitals and healthcare facilities. The SurvivaLyte® unit is a portable, small volume generator with applications such as disaster recovery, emergency preparedness, remote on-site needs, farm and ranch, and personal use. PCT Corp's unique patented systems and human-safe products provide next-generation cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting and decontaminating fluid solutions to the ever-present problems of microbial infection and infestation."

Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CAG), headquartered in Chicago, is one of North America's leading branded food companies. Recently, Conagra Brands, Inc. had announced that it is exploring strategic alternatives for its Italian-based frozen pasta business, Gelit, which is headquartered in Doganella di Ninfa, Italy. Gelit is a leading producer of authentic Italian frozen food and ready meals, primarily for private label customers. The business employs approximately 145 full-time employees, operates a stand-alone, state-of-the-art facility located in Doganella di Ninfa, and supplies products to a broad range of international customers. Conagra Brands has engaged BNP Paribas to assist with this process. Conagra Brands has not set a timetable for the strategic process nor has it made any decisions relating to any strategic alternatives at this time, and no assurance can be given as to the outcome of the process. Conagra Brands does not intend to disclose additional details unless and until further disclosure is appropriate or necessary.

Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE: FLO), headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., is one of the largest producers of fresh packaged bakery foods in the United States with 2017 sales of USD 3.9 Billion. Flowers operates bakeries across the country that produce a wide range of bakery products.  Flowers Foods, Inc. recently announced it has completed its acquisition of Canyon Bakehouse LLC, a privately held, gluten-free baking company based in Johnstown, Colo. Canyon Bakehouse will operate as an independent subsidiary of Flowers Foods. "We welcome the Canyon Bakehouse team to Flowers and are excited to work with them to bring their innovative gluten-free bakery products to more consumers," said Allen Shiver, Flowers' President and Chief Executive Officer. "This acquisition fits with Flowers' strategy to grow in product adjacencies and gives us the opportunity to gain share in the growing gluten-free segment. The Canyon Bakehouse brand is the fastest-growing gluten-free bread loaf brand in the U.S., and we believe we can help accelerate that growth using our fresh distribution network and retail partnerships."

CorMedix Inc. (NYSE: CRMD) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapeutic products for the prevention and treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases. CorMedix Inc. recently announced that the independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) has completed its review of the interim analysis of the data from the currently ongoing Phase 3 LOCK-IT-100 study for Neutrolin®. Because the pre-specified level of statistical significance was reached and efficacy had been demonstrated, the DSMB recommended the study be terminated early. No safety concerns were reported by the DSMB based on the interim analysis. The company will submit the results of the interim analysis to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its review. "We are thrilled to have received the DSMB's recommendation that efficacy has been demonstrated.  Once we have submitted the interim analysis results and DSMB's recommendation to the FDA, we will begin the dialogue on the appropriate next steps," said Khoso Baluch, Chief Executive Officer of CorMedix. "We have invested a significant amount of the Company's resources over the last 2 ½ years in this study, and it is gratifying to have achieved this result based on the interim analysis.  We believe Neutrolin has great potential to save lives of patients receiving hemodialysis therapy as a treatment for end stage renal disease and to lower overall healthcare costs due to reducing the risk of catheter-related blood stream infections (CRBSI)."

Achaogen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAO) is a biopharmaceutical company passionately committed to the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative antibacterial treatments for MDR gram-negative infections. Achaogen, Inc. recently announced the submission of a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for plazomicin. The Company is seeking approval for the following indications: Complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI), including pyelonephritis Bloodstream infections (BSI) due to certain Enterobacteriaceae and; Infections due to Enterobacteriaceae in adult patients with limited treatment options. "Our mission is to bring much-needed antibiotics to patients globally and, with this MAA submission, we are one step closer to that goal," said Blake Wise, Achaogen's Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to the acceptance of this application and the potential to bring a new treatment option to EU patients and healthcare professionals who face the daily challenge of treating recurrent and resistant gram-negative infections."

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