University researchers say a new nasal spray could prevent people from catching Covid for 48 hours – and it could be in stores within months.
Dr. Richard Moakes of the University of Birmingham says his team has spoken to stores and pharmaceutical companies about mass producing the product, which has been in development since April.
A team of university scientists formulated the spray using compounds that are already largely approved by regulatory agencies in the UK, Europe and the US.
Already used in medical devices, drugs and food, the materials trap the virus in the nose and trap it in a coating.
Dr. Moakes told this telegraph : “As a standard product, we’ve talked to companies that have a presence on the high street because we believe they can sell it effectively.
“Based on the product, it will be much faster to get to the user than with a novel drug.
“I am confident that the formulation can have an impact. Our goal is to have an impact as quickly as possible. We want this to happen by summer. “
The research team said tests had previously shown the spray prevented the spread of coronavirus infection for up to 48 hours.
They believe that four uses of the spray would be enough for general protection and that it is safe to use every 20 minutes in a high risk, high population environment such as schools.
The spray is made up of two carrageenans, commonly used in foods as a thickener, and gellan, which was chosen for its ability to adhere to cells in the nose.
In November, Dr. Moakes that “with the right partners” the product can be mass-produced “within weeks”.