Can this Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray really kill the Coronavirus?
Since December 2019, reports of people getting sick due to a mysterious infection started coming in Wuhan city of China. Later it was named Corona infection.
It is about a year and a half since then, Corona continues to wreak havoc in different parts of the world. There is no specific medicine to control it.
To get rid of the corona, many people are looking at things beyond medicine. One such name is nitric oxide nasal spray. Nasal spray means nasal spray. It is expected that this can be an effective treatment for corona. Recently, its Phase-2 trial has also raised hopes.
What is nitric oxide nasal spray?
Nitric oxide is known to be quite effective against bacteria, fungi, helminths, protozoa and viruses. Researchers conducted several experiments to test the ability of nitric oxide to deal with SARS-CoV-2.
Evaluated its effect on the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Then published its findings in September 2020. One of the authors of the research paper was claimed by Professor Ake Lundkvist of Uppsala University, Sweden,
To our knowledge, nitric oxide is the only substance that has so far been shown to have a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2.
What happened in the Phase-2 trial?
Nitric oxide nasal spray has been developed by Sanotize (sanotize research and development corp), a biotech company based in Vancouver, Canada. In this work, St Peters Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust and Berkshire Pathology Services of UK have collaborated.
Dr Gilly Regev, CEO of SaNOtize claims that nitric oxide can kill any type of virus. This spray sends a small amount of nitric oxide into the nose, which helps in killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
It has had trials in Canada and the UK. In Phase-2 clinical trials, its impact was tested on 79 affected people. In testing, this nasal spray reduced the viral load by 95% within 24 hours.
Its impact was seen up to 99% in 72 hours. Most of these patients were infected with the new variant of the coronavirus found in Britain.
Apart from this, more than seven thousand people used this medicine by themselves. It was claimed that none of these side effects showed any signs of adverse effects, ie no side effects were seen.
The chief investigator of this trial, virologist Dr Stephen Winchester, says that this drug can prove to be revolutionary in the fight against the coronavirus. This nasal spray is also easy to take and carry. It can also reduce the spread of the coronavirus to a great extent.
Helpful to prevent infection?
Dr Chris Miller, SaNotize’s Chief Science Officer, claims that it can also prevent post-exposure. Post-exposure means after being exposed to infection. Additionally, it also prevents the virus from entering the body via the nose. This is the same as a hand sanitiser.
The nasal spray releases small amounts of nitric oxide. Its function is to kill the virus in the airways inside the nose. If you are outside, crowded with people and are feared to be infected, you can use the spray. This reduces the chance of getting a virus in the nose. We have seen that even when there is a lot of virus load on people, this spray can reduce the viral load significantly.
Has it received any kind of approval?
After the World Health Organization (WHO) recommissioning, the government agencies of the countries approve the use of the EUA i.e. emergency use authorization of medicines.
According to Dr Regev, Israel and Bahrain have approved the use of this spray as a medical device.
Dr Winchester says that the developers have sought permission to use emergency in the UK as well. A plan to test its third phase is also being planned.
Although there is a need for a third stage trial or not, this regulator has to decide. According to Dr Regev, developers are also discussing with some pharmaceutical companies in India.
How are scientists viewing it in India?
Professor Ram Vishwakarma is the chairman of the Covid Strategy Group of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR. According to the report of Indian Express, they say that as a scientist we are open to this development. Indian companies are also working on a similar idea.
We have been discussing many new developments every day. Scientifically, this is an interesting idea. We are waiting for what the regulators take on this. Many companies of India have also started work on such an idea. There is no question on the antiviral potential of nitric oxide. I have seen reports and results. SaNotize is not the first company. There are many trials going on all over the world.
Vaccine Expert Dr Vipin Vashist said,
As far as I know, such sprays are coming in the Indian market as well, but I do not think they are effective. There is no such type of evidence that can be trusted in its favor.
Nothing can be said about it until there is complete evidence. The international authorities, such as WHO, European Medicine Agency, cannot be said if they are not recommended. A lot of things are effective, but how effective they are, until the trials are completed, it is difficult to say anything.
Some scientists believe that corona enters the body through the nose, so the nasal spray can prove to be effective.
Trials are also underway in India for Corona’s nasal vaccine. Bharat Biotech company, which is making COVAXIN, started trials of its nasal vaccine Coroflu in January itself.
According to Dr Krishna Ella, the founder of Bharat Biotech, this research has proved to be a better option. For this, the company has tied up with Washington University. However, it remains to be seen whether there is any definitive arrangement for the rescue from Corona, and for how long.