Nasal spray appears to help clear coronavirus in clinical trial

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A new nasal spray treatment shows promise for quickly clearing the coronavirus that causes covid-19 from our nostrils. In a recent phase III trial in Indiaspraying was found to significantly reduce people’s nasal viral load within days and at a faster rate than those who received a placebo. Those treated also tested negative for the virus in a swab test faster than the placebo group.

The potential treatment is mainly developed by the Canadian company SaNOtize, with different partners in different countries, such as Glenmark Pharmaceuticals in India. It contains nitric oxide, a molecule that plays several important roles in the human body and is also used as medication to help widen the airways and blood vessels in people with certain conditions. Some research has indicated that nitric oxide may also have a powerful antimicrobial effect, raising hopes that it could be deployed as a first-line treatment for covid-19 for people soon after suspected or confirmed exposure to the coronavirus. If so, a nasal spray may be the best method of administration, as the infection often begins in the upper respiratory tract.

Details of the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial were published last week in The Lancet Regional Health-Southeast Asia. It recruited over 300 adults confirmed to have covid-19 and mild symptoms (vaccinated and unvaccinated). Of them groups used a nasal spray six times a day for seven days, although only one group received the real treatment.

On average, those who took nitric oxide seemed to clear the virus from their noses sooner than the placebo group, with their overall viral load dropping by 99% within 48 hours. The median length of time people in the treatment group tested negative for the virus was three days, compared to seven days.daily median observed with the placebo group. The treatment was also well tolerated, with only a few participants reporting mild side effects such as nasal discomfort. EThe trial took place during times of the pandemic when the Delta and Variants of Omicron were widely circulated, suggesting it was equally effective against either.

“The results of the phase 3 study strongly support the safety and efficacy of [the nitric oxide nasal spray] in the treatment of COVID-19 and its known variants,” SaNOtize co-founder and CEO Gilly Regev said in a statement. jointly published by the company and Glenmark.

In February 2022, the nasal spray was allowed to be used and launched in India under an accelerated approval process, as Fabispray. It has also been licensed and is now sold in parts of Asia and Israel under different names, and it has been registered as a medical device in the European Union. There doesn’t seem to be any recent updates about its potential development and availability in North America, although at least one trial is In progress in Canada, As good as inside Sri Lanka.

Although the results of this latest trial appear to be the most significant to date of any nitric oxide treatment for covid-19, some questions remain. At present, for example, results suggest but do not demonstrate with certainty that nitric oxide can reduce severity of symptoms, risk of onward transmission to others, or the risk of worsening of the disease, the latter being particularly important for people at high risk. A greater proportion of those who received the spray reported feeling significantly better by day eight then the placebo group (78% versus 62%).

If further research continues to find similar positive data, SaNOtize hopes this the spray will not only be useful against covid-19 but other respiratory infections, including the flu.

Elna M. Lemons