Vancouver company’s anti-COVID-19 nasal spray to start clinical trials in U.K.

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A Vancouver-based company called SaNOtize has created a nasal spray that it says can stop COVID-19 from spreading throughout the body and even prevent someone from getting the virus.“The product is a nasal spray that potentially can prevent getting infected … and hopefully also treat the disease early on, in the early stages,” CEO and co-founder Dr. Gilly Regev told Global News Monday.The product, which uses nitric oxide, will begin clinical trials in the U.K. on Tuesday with patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.The company has also recently been approved to start clinical trials in the U.S., and has completed the first Phase 2 trial in Canada where none of the 100 people treated with the spray contracted the virus, Regev said.Israel is also considering defining the spray as a medical device, not a drug, she added, which means it could get approval in that country much quicker. Story continues below advertisement

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Studies suggest that nitric oxide may help prevent the virus from passing through the nose and into the respiratory system. [ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]
“This is a liquid, made out of compounds that are used naturally in food, and when you combine them together they create a very small amount of nitric oxide,” Regev explained. “Nitric oxide is a molecule that we all have in our body … and it’s also approved to treat babies who have respiratory challenges.”

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Regev said they call it “the hand sanitizer for the nose” because it can be a preventative measure against infection if someone thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19.She said the company has had conversations with Health Canada and is seeking funds from the government to conduct a larger clinical trial. Story continues below advertisement

“We’re very proud Canadians and we would love to just help. There is some frustration that this can’t move faster [in Canada] but that’s the way it is right now.”“So once we get the trial and the funding for the trial we can move on with this.”

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Such a trial, which would involve about 4,000 people, could take place in a few months once funding is secured, Regev added. Story continues below advertisement

“It is safe. We haven’t had any adverse events. It’s very easy to use. It’s a simple nasal spray that everyone should have in their pocket.”

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