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Business Observer Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2020 1 month ago

Biotech firm quickly shifts to respirator mask manufacturing

After creating a prototype a week ago, Tampa-based SynDaver plans to make one million of the devices, priced at $35 apiece.

TAMPA — SynDaver, a Tampa-based biotech firm that makes artificial human and animal corpses for use in science and medical education, has repurposed its manufacturing resources so it can produce respirator-type masks in sky-high demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

A SynDaver employee wears one of the respirator masks that the Tampa biotech firm has begun to produce. Courtesy photo.

According to a press release, last week the company made a prototype mask using a 3D printer and then created a template that could be downloaded for free, enabling users to make their own masks. Since that time, SynDaver has decided to help fill orders for masks placed by law enforcement agencies and emergency service providers in Florida. 

“We’re currently prioritizing orders for law enforcement, first responders, health care institutions and companies that have essential personnel interacting daily with the public, like grocery stores and gas stations,” SynDaver CEO Dr. Christopher Sakezles states in the release. “We will be focusing purely on America first, when it comes to distribution. It’s also important to note that every aspect of our respirator has been sourced and manufactured in the United States. All components, down to the raw materials, are from the United States and the respirator itself will be assembled here in Tampa.”

SynDaver, the release states, plans to manufacture one million respirator masks, which cost $35 apiece (bulk pricing is available), and will not price gouge or sell to the highest bidder. 

“We will be using traditional manufacturing methods to create these respirators,” Sakezles states in the release. “Additionally, we designed a ventilator several years ago to work with our SynDaver Synthetic Human and we are looking into producing these as well.”

The masks can be ordered via SynDaver’s website

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