The impetus of Nufabrx, an innovative textile business, emerged from a common teenage ailment: acne. Back when John Schindler, CEO of Nufabrx, was a young college student, a dermatologist told him that washing his pillowcase two or three times a week would decrease his acne breakouts. Schindler says that laundering his pillowcase more often was never going to happen, but the doctor’s suggestion got him thinking.
Eventually, the idea of patient compliance led Schindler to frame his company’s mission: Through a single fiber we can provide wellness to the world. “Patient compliance is always a problem, but clothing can be a platform to solve problems.” Pills and creams can be delivered through a garment; for example, a sock can administer medicine to a patient’s ankles in time-released doses.
Schindler, who presented Nov. 10 at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, says the active ingredients typically need to last through more than 25 washes. The garment can then be considered “normal grade” and still be used. In some cases, it could be possible for patients to be offered subscriptions on garments, where the old ones are replaced with new ones.
Some practical applications include yoga pants that prevent cellulite and belly bands that prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. “We’re merging typical OTC [over the counter] remedies with textiles,” says Schindler. Commonly OTC products include vitamins, analgesics, skin care and sleep remedies.
Nufabrx now has 69 patents, and 140 products have been launched with medications that include capsaicin, CBD, melatonin and vitamin E. One product line is Soliscia by Nufabrx, which has added shea butter to PPE face masks to help prevent “mask-ne.”
He notes that a whole category of health-related remedies exists, like bandages and finger splits, yet none of these items deliver pain-relieving medicine. Infinite opportunities lie in these applications. Schindler says, “Our technology is designed for controlled, slow release. If the medicine is taken orally, it has to go through the liver and kidneys, but why not ‘wear’ the medicine next to where the issue is?”
Registration for IFAI Virtual Expo 2020 is open through Nov. 12. All Expo sessions will be posted on the Virtual Expo platform for viewing during Expo and for 30 days after Expo has concluded.