In our second edition of this series, we’d like to showcase Microbide.
Mary Skelly is an Irish American with a long career in the life-sciences. It was over a decade ago that Mary, together with a South African chemist, conceived of a family of highly effective, biodegradable chemicals that control infestations of anything from microbes (bacteria, viruses and fungi) to insects.
This family of chemicals, called aldehydes, are known biocides. However, they are also skin and eye irritants and they tend to have a very short shelf-life.
The invention of micellar aldehydes was stabilised to become targeted biocides – they effectively killed the target organism – before biodegrading to carbon dioxide and water. The patent protecting this invention is now granted in 76 territories.
Microbide’s formulations are environmentally friendly, ready to use, have a longer shelf-life, and are more effective than competing products.
The challenge was to commercialise these products to produce medical device disinfectants, spray-on larvacides for the control of mosquitos, and horticultural fungicides. This has been a long 11-year journey for Mary, which she has pursued relentlessly, finally resulting in the big break with a significant investment into the company which has put Microbide on the road to commercial success.
A production facility has been established in Wicklow, Ireland. Distributors for their products have been identified in the UK, Ireland, USA and Europe. Another significant market for Microbide is India, where they have commenced negotiations with several JV partners, and are sourcing local manufacturing and packaging facilities.
Yet another amazing example of taking an abstract invention to commercial reality by building a business underpinned by an innovative product.