PurThread, a development-stage biotech firm, recently established its headquarters in Durham. PurThread is developing textiles with antimicrobial properties by integrating each fiber with silver, copper and other natural elements. These textiles, when used in privacy curtains, linens and hospital garments, could help hospitals reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections.
The company chose Durham for its proximity to key textile and medical entities.
“Durham is centrally located in the Triangle,” says Bill O’Neill, vice president of Infection Control Applications. “It is at the crossroads of both the textile and medical industry with Duke and UNC, and then the College of Textiles at NC State.”
This is the company’s first foray into Durham, but the company has a strong connection to the Carolinas. Bill says that everything the company does is based in the Carolinas, from research and development to its textile production partners.
“We are thrilled to call Durham home and look forward to supporting the economy here and throughout the Carolinas,” Bill says.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every 20 people who spend a night in a U.S. hospital acquires an infection. These infections can cost the average hospital patient $16,000 to $19,000 and kill around 100,000 adults each year.
Bill says the company had three missions: To employ new a technology to improve patient outcomes by reducing the rates of healthcare associated infections; to make a contribution in resolving the financial crisis in healthcare by reducing the number of infections, and therefore reducing health care costs; and to contribute to the economic revitalization in North and South Carolina.
PurThread products range from healthcare textiles to products for the military, emergency first responders and performance athletic wear.