With aggressive research and clinical trials carried out by some of the world’s acclaimed research organizations and pharma companies, vaccine for COVID-19 is expected to be soon available. Meanwhile, in the continued fight to prevent the spread of the pandemic, researchers at the University of Birmingham have developed a nasal spray for effective protection against COVID-19.
The spray developed by a team at the Healthcare Technologies Institute of the University used compounds that are widely approved by regulatory bodies in the Europe, UK, and US. In fact, the materials are already widely used in medicines, medical devices, and even food products.
This implies the normal complex procedures that are required to make a new product commercially available are greatly simplified, meaning the spray could be available commercially soon.
Pre-print Study describes infection prevention duration of solution
In fact, a pre-print study describes cell culture experiments that were designed to examine the ability of the compound to inhibit infection. The experiments revealed cell-virus cultures prevented the infection for up to 48 hours after being treated with the compound and when diluted several times.
Composition-wise, the spray comprises two polysaccharide polymers. The first polymer is carrageenan – an antiviral agent commonly used for thickening of foods. The second polymer called gellan was used for its ability to adhere to cells inside the nose. In fact, gellan is an important element because of its ability to be drizzled into fine droplets inside the nasal cavity. Here, gellan can cover the surface evenly, and stick at the delivery site, rather than flowing out of the nose.
The spray is made using readily available products that already find use in food products and medicines, conditions that were considered in the design process.