Heraeus Taking Active Role in Approval Process of Active Substance Class Free Radicals

Hanau, 07. April 2022

  • Heraeus Precious Metals acquires Leitha Clean Technologies' active substance dossiers.
  • With the acquisition, Heraeus Precious Metals takes an active role in the approval process of biocidal products based on “free radicals” at EU level.

According to the Biocidal Regulation, biocidal products in Europe may only contain biocidal active substances that have been evaluated and approved by ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) before they are made commercially available. The aim of the regulation is to harmonize the provision of biocidal products on the market and their use within the European Union, thereby ensuring a high level of protection for human, animal and environmental health.

With the acquisition of the active substance dossiers from Leitha Clean Technologies, Heraeus Precious Metals has taken the strategic decision to assume an active role in the approval process of biocidal products.

AGXX - An Antimicrobial Technology of the Active Substance Class “Free Radicals”

Harmful organisms such as fungi, bacteria, algae, viruses and other microorganisms can pose a significant health threat as well as harm to the economy. Biocidal products are used every day in a wide variety of applications to contain these negative effects: to protect health, to improve the hygiene of people and animals, or to extend the durability of a wide range of materials.

Heraeus offers AGXX, an innovative antimicrobial technology that demonstrates outstanding efficacy against this broad spectrum of microorganisms. AGXX is based on redox reactions and microelectric field effects. In this process, oxygen is converted with air humidity into reactive oxygen species that react with microorganisms and kill them. In addition, the existing microelectric field affects important functions of the cell membrane and accelerates the killing of microorganisms.

The mechanism of action of AGXX technology is based on the formation of reactive oxygen species. Image source: Heraeus
The mechanism of action of AGXX technology is based on the formation of reactive oxygen species.

In contrast to conventional technologies, the mechanism of action of AGXX is based on a catalytic reaction and not on the release of substances, such as metal ions. Furthermore, there is no development of resistances, which can for example occur with antibiotics.

Due to its mechanism of action (generation of antimicrobial, highly effective oxygen species), AGXX belongs to the active substance class “free radicals”. This class of active substance is currently still undergoing approval by the ECHA and will be defined by the dossiers submitted. However, some products, including AGXX, can already be made commercially available due to a transitional arrangement, provided that certain criteria are met.

Martin Danz, Heraeus Precious Metals
Martin Danz, Global Head of Antimicrobial Technologies bei Heraeus Precious Metals

"Due to our extensive expertise in the field of antimicrobial technologies, we have decided to actively participate in the approval process for the active substance class “free radicals”. This will ensure that our customers can use our technology safely and without any problems. Our primary goal is to make a decisive contribution to effectively combating harmful germs, viruses and other dangerous microorganisms," emphasizes Martin Danz, Global Head of Antimicrobial Technologies at Heraeus Precious Metals.

Approval of this free radical active substance class is expected in one to two years. However, Heraeus has already been registered as an active substance supplier for "free radicals" on the corresponding ECHA list in accordance with Article 95 of the Biocides Regulation. This means that AGXX can already be used today in accordance with the Biocides Regulation.

For more information, please visit our website:  herae.us/agxx