Technology Company TiFiber™ to Establish Production Facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas with Support from Local Investors

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TiFiber’s patented antimicrobial polymers (AMPs) are safer, more effective alternatives to widely used antimicrobials in personal care and medical products.

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...high-tech and innovative projects like TiFiber are exactly what Fort Smith needs more of today. We are thrilled with TiFiber’s decision to move their operation to our community and we welcome their leadership and staff to Fort Smith.

Today, TiFiber, Inc. announced its plans to locate its pilot production facility and future company headquarters in Fort Smith, Arkansas to further develop and produce innovative new materials that safely and effectively control dangerous microorganisms. Fort Smith was chosen not only because of its historic, strong support for manufacturing, but also due to regional leaders’ efforts to attract leading edge, technology-based companies such as TiFiber.

In 2015, pilot-scale production will be established in order to support regulatory certification with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once TiFiber’s products have obtained regulatory approval, a full production facility will be established to provide AMP materials to manufacturers for inclusion into their products. It is anticipated that TiFiber’s Fort Smith facility will begin significant production in 2017, and create up to 100 jobs by 2019.

TiFiber’s patented products are based on a family of antimicrobial polymers (AMPs) with potent, broad-spectrum activity towards both bacteria and fungi. An especially attractive characteristic of these new compounds is that although they show strong antimicrobial activity, they are safe for mammalian cells. AMP compounds quickly kill bacteria including E. coli, S. epidemidis, P. aeruginosa and S. aureus (including MRSA), among others.

There has been growing concern in the U.S. for several years about the use of anti-bacterial soaps, body washes, and other products. A large number of these products contain either triclosan or triclocarban as the active ingredient. Triclosan has been shown in animal research to alter hormone regulation, and may also contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Because of these concerns, the FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are collaborating to review the long-term effects of triclosan and update its assessment on human and environmental health. Minnesota was the first state to ban triclosan in 2014; other states are investigating triclosan and are likely to soon follow.

Currently, TiFiber is codeveloping soap formulations with Bradford Soap Works, headquartered in West Warwick, Rhode Island. Bradford is testing TiFiber’s AMP products in bar soaps as a replacement for triclosan, triclocarban, and other existing antimicrobial compounds in personal care products which Bradford manufactures for multiple large consumer packaged goods companies. Founded in 1876, Bradford is the world’s leading manufacturer of bar soaps, and also offers a broad range of liquid soaps, lotions, specialty chemicals, and bath accessories. Bradford’s development laboratories are working with TiFiber to provide custom formulations, product development, and testing services.

Tim Allen, President of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce said, “This project is a collaborative effort of the Fort Smith Chamber, local Fort Smith business owners, and TiFiber. A group of local business owners are making a financial commitment to this company for the betterment of our community. The Chamber is proud to play a role in securing this opportunity; high-tech and innovative projects like TiFiber are exactly what Fort Smith needs more of today. We are thrilled with TiFiber’s decision to move their operation to our community and we welcome their leadership and staff to Fort Smith."

Potential applications of TiFiber’s AMP technology include soaps, disposable and non-disposable medical plastics, dental cements, wound care (acute and chronic wounds), medical devices (biofilm protection), cosmetic preservatives, and textiles. Initial development work has been supported by a combination of private investment and economic development incentives from the State of Arkansas. “TiFiber’s business outlook is very positive, as the company’s AMP technology meets urgent market needs. The company is highly likely to create numerous science and engineering jobs in Arkansas,” said Dr. Calvin Goforth, interim CEO of TiFiber. “We are very appreciative of financing and tax credits received from the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority, the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, that are targeted to help create these types of jobs in Arkansas, and which have played a critical role in TiFiber’s launch and rapid progress.”

TiFiber, Inc.™ is developing new, high performance materials and products for control of dangerous or detrimental microorganisms including development of a biocompatible, broad spectrum, antimicrobial additive for the replacement of triclosan, nanosilver, and other currently available antimicrobial agents. Initial applications are for personal care products, wound care dressings, medical devices and textiles. This innovative technology provides numerous advantages over currently available products while providing a competitive price point. TiFiber is a VIC Technology Venture Development™ portfolio company.

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Miriam Hudson-Courtney, Communications Manager
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