B.C. biotech company seeks emergency approval for COVID-19 nasal spray treatment
VANCOUVER -- A B.C. biotech firm says it has developed an effective treatment for anyone who’s contracted COVID-19, and is now seeking federal approval for emergency use of the product.
Following months of clinical trials, Vancouver-based SaNOtize says its nasal spray has been found to reduce COVID-19 levels by 95 per cent within 24 hours, and more than 99 per cent in under three days.
“When you use the nasal spray, it really kills the virus in the nose, and reduces the viral load,” said Dr. Gilly Regev, who co-founded SaNOtize with Dr. Chris Miller.
During testing, COVID-19 patients in Canada and the U.K. self-administered the nasal spray. When treated quickly enough, the virus was killed before it could spread to the lungs, according to the startup. Miller said using the spray could mean milder symptoms and a potentially quicker recovery for anyone with COVID-19.
“You get exposed, you test positive, and you take this. Within a day, or two days, or maximum four days, you’re back out on the street,” he told CTV News.
The nasal spray contains nitric oxide, which is known to act as a disinfectant and is produced naturally in humans. No one reported any side effects during the nasal spray’s trial phase.
The developers say it can be used worldwide, as an added layer of protection against COVID-19.
“It will be another tool in your toolbox. Just like you have your hand sanitizer and your mask, you will have your nasal spray. The idea is that it’s not instead of the vaccine, it’s to augment the vaccine,” explained Regev.
Testing also found the spray works against the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 that originated in the U.K.
“We believe this will also be effective against all other variants,” added Miller.
SaNOtize is now seeking federal approval for emergency use of the nasal spray in the U.K. and Canada. Ideally, they want their product available over-the-counter. Each bottle contains two months' worth of doses, and would retail for approximately $50.
The biotech firm also plans to run another set of clinical trials in the coming weeks, to prove the spray not only kills COVID-19 in the body, but can also prevent people from contracting the virus.