Nasal spray against COVID-19 begins UK trials

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The first UK clinical trials of a nasal spray proven to kill 99.9% of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 will begin on January 11 at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in Surrey.

The SaNOtize Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray is designed to kill the virus in the upper airways, preventing it from incubating and spreading to the lungs.

The treatment, developed by SaNOtize Research and Development Corp. based in Vancouver, Canada, proved 99.9% effective in killing the coronavirus in independent lab tests at Utah State University’s Antiviral Research Institute. Additional studies in rodents with COVID-19 infection showed over 95% reduction within the first day after infection. It is currently undergoing Phase II clinical trials throughout Canada approved by Health Canada, and in other countries.

The SaNOtize treatment is based on nitric oxide, a natural nanomolecule produced by the human body with proven anti-microbial properties shown to have a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The treatment can be delivered by nasal spray, throat gargle or nasal lavage.

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, the virus that causes Covid-19, within two minutes. Rodent studies performed at Colorado State University showed an average of over 95% reduction in SARS-CoV-2 viral load tested on the day following infection with half the rodents having no detectable virus at all. This was following inoculation with the virus and two treatments of SaNOtize’s nasal spray.

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Rob Wilson, a former British government minister who represents SaNOtize in the UK and EU, is overseeing the trial.

“If, as we expect, the current Phase II results in Canada confirm the very encouraging results received from the Antiviral Research Institute and ongoing studies at Colorado State University SaNOtize will be seeking emergency approval in Canada to proceed directly to Phase IV introduction of the product to the market as part of the continuing global fight against this deadly pandemic,” said Wilson.

“The vaccination programme is essential, but it will also take time to distribute to the general public. Mutant strains may develop, requiring changes to the vaccine. It is not known how long the immunological protection will last. It is also unclear if the vaccines will prevent vaccinated people from becoming infected and potentially transmit the virus to other non-protected individuals.

For these reasons it is important to explore and deliver simple, safe and inexpensive therapeutic product solutions over the counter in the UK and EU as soon as possible, which is why I am getting these UK trials, the first in Europe, underway very shortly. The nasal spray not only can block entry of the virus, but the active ingredient nitric oxide actually kills the virus and prevents it from multiplying. If successful, people in Britain and Europe could have an effective, safe and accessible treatment within months that they can use daily to kill the coronavirus and stop it spreading,” Wilson said.

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“This simple treatment will assist us in resuming something approaching normal social life, work and travel with some confidence that even if we inhale the virus, we can both protect against it and destroy it by applying the SaNOtize solution on a regular basis,” Wilson said.

The company’s strategy is to use the Nitric Oxide spray as a multi-stage defence against infection and to provide an effective treatment for mild and moderate cases with the goal of preventing severe inflammatory response and infection of the lungs. Scientists believe the coronavirus is transmitted via airborne droplets to the mucous membranes in the nose, where it is replicated during a three-day incubation period, damaging the nasal mucosa cells, and is then carried in nasal secretions to the lower respiratory tract, leading to the danger of fatal viral pneumonia.