By World Healthcare Journal-
A nasal spray to provide protection against Covid has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham, using two active antiviral agents which are already widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.
In use, the spray catches and coats the virus inside the nose, preventing its uptake in the body, so it can be eliminated via usual routes (such as nose-blowing or swallowing).
In the event that virus particles are passed to another person via a sneeze or cough, the antiviral effect would reduce the risk of transmission of active viruses to that person.
In addition, by specifically formulating the spray with pre-approved compounds, the normal procedures to take a new product to market are vastly simplified - meaning the spray could be commercially available in a very short frame of time.
"This spray is made from readily available products that are already being used in food products and medicines, and we purposely built these conditions into our design process. It means that, with the right partners, we could start mass production within weeks,” said Dr Richard Moakes, one of the lead researchers on the project.
"Products like these don't replace existing measures such as mask-wearing and handwashing, which will continue to be vital to preventing the spread of the virus,"
"What this spray will do, however, is add a second layer of protection to prevent and slow virus transmission."
The study has also shown that the new drug can deliver significant suppression of infection in cells exposed to the live virus compared to untreated control groups, an effect which was effective up to 48 hours after administration and even when diluted many times.
Researchers believe that the spray could be particularly useful in areas where crowding is less avoidable, such as aeroplanes, public transport, classrooms, and offices.
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