MUNDELEIN, Ill., Feb. 26, 2013—Medline Industries, Inc. rang the closing bell at the NASDAQ Stock Market in New York City yesterday in celebration of winning the Chicago Innovation Award for its new BioMask, the first-ever FDA-cleared antiviral medical face mask that is shown to inactivate flu viruses. Organized by the Chicago Innovation Awards, the event included representatives from Medline and the other winners of the Chicago Innovation awards.

With the 2013 flu season currently underway, Medline’s BioMask is a major breakthrough in protection especially for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, children, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every five people in the United States today is affected by the flu and an average of 200,000 people are hospitalized each year with flu complications.

BioMask is the first-ever FDA-cleared antiviral medical face mask that is shown to inactivate 99.99 percent of laboratory-tested flu viruses on five minutes contact, including imminent pandemic and seasonal strains of influenza (flu) viruses, such as H1N1, Avian flu, Swine flu and H3N2, this year’s dominant flu strain in the United States. Traditional facemasks act only as an air filter and do nothing to neutralize the harmful germs that remain active on the mask itself.

“We are especially proud to receive this innovation award as BioMask has the potential to help protect health care workers, patients and vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immunities,” said David Greenberg, Medline’s executive vice president of strategy. Greenberg represented Medline in the NASDAQ closing ceremony.

Medline’s BioMask uses proprietary Ionixx technology that incorporates three natural and safe ingredients (citric acid, copper and zinc) to effectively inactivate viruses on the inside and outside surfaces of the mask within five minutes. A hydrophilic coating on the outside quickly wicks droplets away from the surface while the low pH in citric acid begins to inactivate viruses on contact. The droplet then lands on the mask’s inner blue layer where any remaining viruses are inactivated by copper and zinc, which are toxic to pathogens.

The benefit of the BioMask is that it can provide protection from cross contamination. The outer facing of the mask is frequently touched by the user, who then touches other things or people. Since BioMask inactivates 99.99 percent of the tested flu viruses on five minutes contact, the risk of spreading the virus is greatly reduced. “We congratulate Medline for winning the Chicago Innovation Awards, and applaud their commitment to innovation,” said Dan Miller, co-founder of the Chicago Innovation Awards.

Established in 2002, the Chicago Innovation Awards shine a bright light on the creative spirit of Chicago by focusing attention on the most significant new products and services introduced in the region. The winners each year are innovations that uniquely fill unmet needs, spark a competitive response in the marketplace, exceed market expectations, achieve financial success, and improve people’s lives. They emerge from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Most importantly, the Chicago Innovation Awards remind us that innovation is thriving in America’s heartland. Medline was named one of the 10 winners of the 2012 Chicago Innovation Awards out of nearly 400 nominees across all industries, sizes and sectors in the Chicago region. The complete list of the 2012 Chicago Innovation Award winners can be found at

The BioMask was launched in 2012 under Medline’s Curad® brand name exclusively for the retail market. It is currently available at major retail chains, including Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Meijer, Albertsons and Winn-Dixie. Medline’s BioMask is also available to medical and health care facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, surgery centers, physician offices and laboratories.

As the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of health care products, Medline manufactures and distributes more than 350,000 products to hospitals, extended care facilities, surgery centers, physician offices and home care dealers. Named one of the country’s “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For,” Medline is headquartered in Mundelein, Ill. and has more than 1,100 dedicated sales representatives to support its broad product line and cost management services. For more information go to