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DuPont, Johns Hopkins Team Up for Ebola Protection Garment

DuPontDD has entered into a license and collaboration agreement with The Johns Hopkins University to commercialize a special garment from Johns Hopkins for the protection of people on the front lines of the Ebola crisis and fatal infectious disease outbreaks in the future. DuPont plans to launch the garment in markets during the first half of 2016.

DuPont has been providing special garments for over 40 years to cater to the safety and protection issues of industrial and healthcare workers. Hence, this alliance will enable the garment to gain faster and wider access to the market. According to the agreement, Johns Hopkins will support DuPont in assessing the sample garments produced by the latter and further help prepare information for users. DuPont, on the other hand, will take care of the commercialization of the garment. Further terms of the agreement were kept under wraps.

The U.S. Agency for International Development ("USAID") identified this humanitarian need during the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, resulting in this collaboration between the major research university and the international science and engineering company, to save lives. Reportedly, Ebola claimed around 11,000 lives and infected over 28,000 patients. Moreover, adverse weather conditions and unorganized health systems made it difficult to keep infections away, thus leading to several nurses, doctors and others being fatally infected by the patients they were treating.

According to data revealed by the World Health Organization, the Ebola virus was detected in more than 800 health workers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, causing over 500 related deaths. Thus, help was sought from public health experts, scientists and biomedical engineers in the public and private sectors to tackle this situation.

Finally in Dec 2014, the USAID chose the new Johns Hopkins sample protective garment, made from DuPont's advanced material, as one of the first five projects to be granted financial aid to address the Ebola crisis.

The sample garment was created by the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design ("CBID"), together with one of its affiliates, Jhpiego. The garment is based on a design by DuPont, featuring a rear zipper and a "cocoon-style" removal, or doffing, process involving few steps and lower risk. DuPont further intends to incorporate an integrated hood with a large clear visor.

Moreover, the garment will be field-tested by Jhpiego in Liberia which was the most affected among the three African countries hit by the recent Ebola outbreak. Also, Jhpiego has extensive experience in health systems strengthening and training of health workers in that region.

According to Marc Doyle, senior vice president DuPont Safety & Protection, with this move, DuPont remains committed to accept challenges to address global issues. The company further looks forward to making this garment highly accessible for both emergency response and preparedness. Leslie Mancuso, president and CEO of Jhpiego further stated that the new garment will ensure the safety of health workers and enable them to face any new infectious disease outbreak with confidence. The entire collaboration represents the dedication of the public and private sectors toward improving global health.

Zacks Rank

DuPont currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Better-ranked stocks in the diversified chemical space include Koppers Holdings Inc. KOP , Arkema S.A. ARKAY and Air Products & Chemicals Inc. APD . While Koppers Holdings sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Arkema and Air Products carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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