The mask features disposable filters that can be manufactured quickly to meet the demand from healthcare systems and the general public during the coronavirus pandemic. The filters provide 99% filtration of airborne particulates down to 0.1 micron in diameter.
Breathe99’s B2 Mask face pieces flex to fit each user’s unique face shape. Each facepiece is also constructed using durable, FDA-approved materials that can be cleaned and used for years, according to the company. The only component of the mask that requires replacing is two small filters.
The Kickstarter campaign is currently available for members of the general public who struggle to find high-quality masks on the market. The company has raised $46,330 of its $20,000 goal so far today. Breathe99 will start sending out B2 Masks during the summer. The company is also offering a reward level called “Give One, Get One” that will provide masks to frontline healthcare workers.
So far, the company has received a below-market-rate Program-Related Investment loan from Venn Foundation with initial anchor support of over $100,000 from the Bush Foundation, Damascus Road Partners, Morgan Family Foundation, The Xancharlize Fund and an anonymous donor. Breathe99 said it has a Program-Related Investment goal of $300,000.
Protolabs and Worrell Design both have directly supported Breathe99 and the B2 Mask by providing capital, expertise and services.
“Given the severe shortage of personal protective equipment right now, B2 Mask is needed in our hospitals and homes as soon as possible,” managing partner of Damascus Road Partners Mark Steburg said in a news release. “We urge others to join us in supporting Breathe99 through Venn’s PRI and Kickstarter as the company quickly ramps up production.”
B2 Masks are compliant to N99 standards from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health but have not received regulatory approval. The mask’s filter material is manufactured by and has been tested at Superior Felt and Filtration and Nelson Labs, according to Breathe99.
Breathe99 plans to apply for FDA emergency use authorization to help healthcare professionals during the personal protective equipment shortage amid the coronavirus pandemic.