I-Tech, the originator of Selektope®, a marine biocide used to improve ship hull performance and reduce maintenance, has been notified that Selektope has passed the EU evaluation criteria for marine biocides and therefore can be authiorised for approval in the EU.
Final EU approval estimated by end of 2014
The authorisation from the UK HSE means that all necessary investigations and tests are completed, approved and evaluated to ensure that Selektope does not pose a risk to humans or the environment when used as an antifouling biocide. All other EU member states have now received access to the Selektope dossier and will be given the opportunity to raise questions or concerns during a 2-month period. Final EU approval is estimated to arrive by the end of 2014. Selektope has already received regulatory approval in Japan, Korea and is under registration in China.
First and most critical step
“The confirmation that Selektope complies with the demanding EU Biocidal Products Regulation for its use is very encouraging to us as the EU requirements are utmost stringent and serve as references for regulators and industry in most parts of the world. We are confident that our enthusiasm is shared also by our customers and partners in the shipping industry as this is proof that Selektope is a safe and well-evaluated product”, says Philip Chaabane, Managing Director of I-Tech.
Selektope® – further improving antifouling paints
The turnover for antifouling paints is estimated to USD 2 billion per year, and a protection against barnacles is a necessity in all antifouling paints. Selektope is a biodegradable, non-metal substance developed to avoid fouling on boats and ships by barnacles and other shell-forming animals – a so-called antifouling substance. It has proven effectiveness in concentrations of about 0.1 % w/w (percentage weight/weight). The antifouling effect is exerted through stimulation of the barnacle larvae’s swimming behaviour. It thereby makes the larvae unable to attach to a surface painted with Selektope. As soon as the barnacle leaves the surface the effect disappears, i.e. it is reversible. Due to the low concentration needed, Selektope does not compromise the paint’s chemical structure, colour or other cooperative biocides involved.
I-Tech is a Swedish limited company, founded in 2000 by a group of researchers from the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology.
I-Tech’s biocide Selektope (generic name medetomidine) has sprung from extensive research on the development of environmentally sound marine paints through a government funded (MISTRA) multi-year research project. Several potential biocides were included in this project, but Selektope distinguished itself from the others when it was discovered to affect the behaviour of the barnacle larvae so that they would not settle on prepared surfaces. The substance was particularly interesting as the effect can be identified already at nano-molar concentrations.
Further development has refined Selektope to a potent, ecologically verified biocide for use in marine antifouling paints. The technology holds extensive patent protection for all relevant maritime nations.