Can a nasal spray work against COVID-19? Clinical trials begin in UK

SaNOtize begins trials in Surrey of nasal spray claimed 99.9% effective against COVID

nasal-spray-coronavirus-pixabay Representational image | Pixabay

Trials of a nitric oxide-based nasal spray that has been claimed to be 99.9 per cent effective at killing the novel coronavirus have begun in the United Kingdom. The spray, developed by Vancouver-based SaNOtize Research and Development Corp, is being trialled in partnership with the Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey.

“The SaNOtize nasal spray provides a barrier. It contains nitric oxide which prevents and treats early infection by destroying the virus and impeding viral replication within the cells in the nose. In addition, nitric oxide has been shown to block the ACE-2 receptor essential for the virus to infect our cells. That is what makes our product unique and enables it to stand alone from any other nasal approach,” said Dr Chris Miller, chief science officer and co-founder of SaNOtize.

A naturally produced compound, nitric oxide has been proven safe in therapeutic use. “Nitric oxide is an incredibly versatile molecule that regulates almost everything in our body,” said Prof Ferid Murad of Stanford University, who won the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on the importance of nitric oxide within the human body and its healing properties.

“When used therapeutically, it has a well-documented safety profile and is demonstrated to be effective against a wide variety of viruses, bacteria and fungi. I'm excited to be working with the SaNOtize team and believe that they have a safe technology that could be effective in treating infections, including COVID-19,” he added.

Lab tests on the SaNOtize treatment at Utah State University’s Antiviral Research Institute confirmed that the company’s Nitric Oxide Releasing Solution inactivated more than 99.9% of SARs-CoV-2.

In addition, rodent studies at Colorado State University have showed that the spray showed an over 95 per cent reduction within the first day after COVID-19 infection. The spray is also undergoing Phase II clinical trials throughout Canada after being approved by Health Canada.

Other nasal sprays claimed effective against COVID-19 are also being tested, with US-based Eureka Therapeutics completing pre-clinical studies of its InvisiMask Human Antibody Nasal Spray, with clinical trials planned soon.

Another study in the UK, by the Lancaster University researchers, has explored using a nasal spray to administered a COVID-19 vaccine. Tests on animals showed the vaccine can prevent virus bearers from further transmitting the virus, but further human trials are required before the same effect can be proven in humans.