Newmarket: Threat of drug-resistant bacteria in hospitlas set to boost Tristel disinfectant sales

Tristel's factory at Snailwell, near Newmarket. Tristel's factory at Snailwell, near Newmarket.

Thursday, March 13, 2014
12:41 PM

Infection prevention and hygiene products company Tristel could be in line for a boost to sales following a report highlighting the threat of drug-resistant bacteria in hospitals.

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A circular from Public Health England, which has been brought to the attention of NHS Trust chief executives, warns that the resistance of bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae family to carbapenem-type antibiotics is “one of the most serious emerging infections disase threats that we currently face”.

The growing problem of resistance has, in turn, highlighted the importance of preventing infection in the first place, with Tristel’s surface disinfectant products potentially having a greater role to play due to their proven ability to kill multi-drug resistant bacteria.

The company, based at Snailwell, near Newmarket, estimates that 41 out of a total of 190 NHS Trusts (28%) are currently using its surface disinfectants in the housekeeping teams and 37 (24%) within their nursing teams.

Tristel said today that surface disinfectant products accounted for £700,000 out of group sales totalling £6.4million in the first half of the current financial year, adding that it “expects these products to make a growing contribution to group sales as more NHS Trusts adopt Tristel surface products”.

The company believes that its export business could also benefit, with similar concerns over drug resistance emerging in other countries where Tristel has a well-establishe presence including Hong Kong, where its sales grew by 65% during the first half of the year.

Paul Swinney, chief executive of Tristel, said of the Public Health England circular: “We welcome this news as our lead technology, a proprietary chlorine dioxide formulation, is far superior to surface disinfectants that are commonly used in the NHS such as bleach and chlorine tablets and therefore offers a more attractive solution to NHS cleaning teams.”

In its first half results earlier this month, Tristel reported a a pre-tax profit of £723,000 for the six months to December 31, compared with a loss of £2.66million at the same stage a year ago, which reflected impairment charges and other one-off costs relating to a major review of its products and markets.

It is targeting its flagship Tristel brand at the decontamination of smaller instruments in hospital departments such as ear, nose and throat, cardiology and ultrasound as demand for its original endoscopy products has declined.

The company is also diversifying beyond the human healthcare market, including its Crystel range of products for contamination control within pharmaceutical production, laboratories and hospital facilities preparing chemotherapy drugs, and the Anistel brand, aimed at infection control in the animal healthcare sector.

Tristel employs around 50 people at its Snailwell headquarters, including around 20 on the production side which includes its own clean room facilities, with sales roles in the field taking its total workforce to nearly 90.

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