Vancouver-based company SaNOtize, co-founded by Israeli-Canadian scientist Dr Gilly Regev, launched its first clinical trial in the UK, Monday, 18 January, a proposed antiviral nasal spray for use against COVID-19.
The SaNOtize Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) is designed to kill the virus in the upper airways, preventing it from incubating and spreading to the lungs.
The treatment, developed by SaNOtize research and development corp based in Vancouver, Canada, proved 99.9% effective in killing the coronavirus in independent lab tests at Utah state university’s antiviral research institute.
Additional studies in rodents with COVID-19 infection showed over 95% reduction within the first day after infection. It is currently undergoing Phase II clinical trials throughout Canada approved by Health Canada and in other countries.
The SaNOtize treatment is based on nitric oxide, a natural nano molecule produced by the human body with proven anti-microbial properties shown to have a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The treatment can be delivered by nasal spray, throat gargle or nasal lavage.
Lab tests on the SaNOtize treatment at Utah state university’s antiviral research institute confirmed that the company’s Nitric Oxide releasing solution inactivated more than 99.9% of SARs-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, within two minutes.
Rodent studies performed at Colorado state university showed an average of over 95% reduction in SARS-CoV-2 viral load tested on the day following infection with half the rodents having no detectable virus at all. This was following inoculation with the virus and two treatments of SaNOtize’s nasal spray.
The importance of nitric oxide within the human body and its healing properties was first discovered by Prof Ferid Murad of Stanford university, among others, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1998. Prof Murad is a member of the board of SaNOtize.
“Nitric oxide is an incredibly versatile molecule that regulates almost everything in our body when used therapeutically, it has a well-documented safety profile and is demonstrated to be effective against a wide variety of viruses, bacteria and fungi. I’m excited to be working with the SaNOtize team and believe that they have a safe technology that could be effective in treating infections, including Covid-19, Dr Murad said.
Rob Wilson, a former British government minister who represents SaNOtize in the UK and EU, is overseeing the trial.
“If, as we expect, the current Phase II results in Canada confirm the very encouraging results received from the antiviral research institute and ongoing studies at Colorado State University SaNOtize will be seeking emergency approval in Canada to proceed directly to Phase IV introduction of the product to the market as part of the continuing global fight against this deadly pandemic, said Wilson.
Research published in nature confirms that the nose is the primary infection area especially in the early period of the infection. Hospital trials with nitric oxide are underway in the US and Europe with seriously ill coronavirus patients inhaling the gas to kill the virus in their lungs and prevent progression to severe infection. SaNOtize’s solution can be applied away from a hospital setting, it is easy to use, inexpensive and safe.
The company’s strategy is to use the Nitric Oxide spray as a multi-stage defence against infection and to provide an effective treatment for mild and moderate cases with the goal of preventing severe inflammatory response and infection of the lungs.
Scientists believe the coronavirus is transmitted via airborne droplets to the mucous membranes in the nose, where it is replicated during a three-day incubation period, damaging the nasal mucosa cells, and is then carried in nasal secretions to the lower respiratory tract, leading to the danger of fatal viral pneumonia.