Another Potential Defence Against COVID-19

A company co-founded by an Israeli has formulated a spray that seems effective at killing coronavirus in a person’s nose, preventing infection from spreading.

Developed by Canadian company SaNOtize, the Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray has proven 99.9 per cent effective in laboratory tests at Utah State University’s Antiviral Research Institute in the USA. It is now going through Phase II clinical trials in Canada.

 On Monday 11th January, the UK is joining these trials through a team at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey.

SaNOtize was founded by Dr Gilly Regev, an experienced biotech executive, and Dr Chris Miller, a pioneer in nitric oxide technology. Dr Regev was raised in Israel and has a PhD in Biochemistry from the Hebrew University.

Last October she told the Times of Israel:

“We know that infection starts in the nasal passages – that’s where the virus enters the body.
It multiplies there. If we kill it when it enters the body, we will not get sick.”


 

Professor Pankaj Sharma, from the University of London, commented:

“The fact that a relatively easy and simple nasal spray could be an effective treatment
is welcome news and offers a significant advance in our therapeutic armoury
against this devastating disease.”

Rob Wilson is a former UK government minister who represents SaNOtize in the UK and EU. He thinks this nasal spray could be important as a defensive measure before widespread inoculation of people is achieved.

“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.”

If the Phase II results in Canada confirm the encouraging results received from the Antiviral Research Institute, SaNOtize will seek emergency approval in Canada to proceed directly to Phase IV introduction of the product to the market as part of the ongoing fight against the pandemic.