J'cans strike deal with Hong Kong firm to produce medical grade masks
NovaMed, founded in 2018 by Oxford University-trained immunologist, Dr David Walcott (left), is run in partnership with entrepreneur Kirk-Anthony Hamilton (right).
Jamaican company NovaMed has stepped into the ring in the battle to produce more personal protective equipment (PPE).
The company has partnered with Hong Kong-based DHB Global to acquire a production line in China, which will assist with the manufacture and distribution of masks.
DHB Global is an American-owned healthcare advisory company with 25 years’ experience in the Chinese market.
Other details of the deal were not shared, but NovaMed in a release on Thursday stated that DHB has supplied a wide portfolio of PPE and test equipment to over 14 public and private health systems including India.
NovaMed, based in Kingston, said it will be producing at high volumes while being responsive to the needs of smaller nations, such as Caribbean island states.
NovaMed, founded in 2018 by Dr David Walcott, is run in partnership with entrepreneur Kirk-Anthony Hamilton. Dr Walcott, a Rhodes Scholar, is an Oxford University-trained immunologist.
Hamilton is the entrepreneur behind Tech Beach, a technology conference which focuses on such issues as fintech, health tech, and consumer tech, with special attention paid to emerging technologies, including digital payments, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation.
NovaMed indicated that under conditions caused by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19)) healthcare personal protective equipment (PPE) and specifically N95 masks have become a necessity, and the sudden spike in private demand over the last two months has sent prices for these medical-grade masks up.
“Without an adequate supply of medical-grade masks we will not have a real chance at protection and prevention, but it is understandably difficult for our relatively small orders to be prioritized by suppliers in the face of much larger orders. For context, Japanese conglomerate Softbank is acquiring 300 million maks per month for the foreseeable future,” Dr Walcott stated.
The local medical supplier noted that major facemask manufacturers have exercised their leverage in demanding unusual terms of purchase, including full payment before beginning manufacturing.
NovaMed’s Founding Partner Kirk Anthony Hamilton noted that having DHB as partners helps to combat these issues.
Company founder Walcott said the company’s ability to deliver in this climate “is based on years of work building relationships and solidifying partnerships with global stakeholders.”