News | Mar 6, 2019

MQM Solutions, a Cleveland startup, productizing chem-bio decontaminant developed by US Army

U.S. Army Pfc. Alex Rojas sprays a contaminated vehicle while testing a tactical decontamination concept in Germany.

Shaiyla Hakeem/Army

First responders and members of the military have the fun task of responding to emergencies that involve weaponized chemical and biological agents.

Enter MQM Solutions, a Cleveland-based two-year-old startup founded by Tim Meilander and Iain McVey that supplies easy-to-use decontamination kits that degrade deadly chemicals.

On Wednesday, MQM announced a non-exclusive patent license agreement with the Chemical Biological Center, a research laboratory under the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command in Maryland.

With the license, the company can produce and sell an Army-patented, just-add-water decontamination powder to military customers for treating surfaces contaminated with blister agents, nerve agents, bacterial toxins, anthrax, or bird flu.

“Dry chemistries that can be mixed at the point of use with available water (fresh, brackish, or sea) provide logistical benefits for storage and shipping by massively decreasing the weight and volume. The chemistry has demonstrated excellent material compatability and has proven to work well on a wide variety of surfaces, painted, plastic, metal, et cetera,” Meilander said.

The company said the new product will be ready to buy by mid-summer. For non-military customers, Meilander said the biological decontamination still needed to be reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency or other civil authorities.

Licensing assistance from TechLink, the Department of Defense’s go-to for technology transfer, followed consultation with MQM on an expired cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the Chemical Biological Center.

Marti Elder, senior technology manager at TechLink, supported MQM’s development of the necessary patent license application and commercialization plan after assisting to work through the CRADA issues.

“The company came in through our website and wanted some advice on extending an old CRADA, which we ultimately sorted out by encouraging them to pursue a new agreement, and then helped the lab license two pieces of IP that the Army had co-developed with another company,” Elder said. “They’re a capable transition partner, and headed for success.”

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