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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - LONDON: A Canadian nasal spray that has been proven to prevent COVID-19 infections is being trialed in Britain.
The nitric oxide spray, developed by Vancouver-based SaNOtize, is designed to prevent the spread of the virus from the nose through to the respiratory system.
It is being tested by medics in the Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS (National Health Service) Foundation Trust in the county of Surrey along with academics from Royal Holloway, University of London.
Studies have found that nitric oxide, the main component of the spray, is effective at halting the spread of viral infection.
“The SaNOtize treatment should be thought of as an effective treatment for the upper airways, similar to when people use hand sanitizers to clean their hands,” said Rob Wilson, a former Conservative MP overseeing the trail in Surrey.
“This simple treatment will assist us in resuming something approaching normal social life ... Even if we inhale the virus, we can both protect against it and destroy it by applying the solution on a regular basis.”
In Canada, the SaNOtize spray is undergoing its second phase of trials after the first round found that it had 100 percent effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 from passing into the respiratory system.
The virus’s primary route of infection is the nose via aerosol droplets, leading to many attempts to produce an effective antiviral nasal spray.
Some sprays have been potentially effective at reducing transmission, but they have all relied on regular use and have not provided lasting protection.
SaNOtize hopes to buck the trend, claiming that the product is unique in blocking the process by which the virus binds itself to receptors in the nasal passage.
The spray “provides a barrier,” said Chris Miller, the company’s chief science officer, adding that it “prevents and treats early infection by destroying the virus and impeding viral replication within the cells in the nose.”
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