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Drug-free nasal spray could prevent COVID-19 infection, promising data show

Published on 03/12/20 at 12:50pm

Auris Medical has revealed promising new in vitro data for AM-301, its drug-free nasal spray, showing that the product could potentially protect from COVID-19.  

The data indicated that the spray may prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in the nasal epithelial cells, which are the body’s first point of contact with inhaled allergens and pathogens. It protects these cells by forming a protective layer around them.

48 hours following initial treatment, average virus titers were shown to be 90% lower in reconstituted human nasal epithelia samples, compared to saline-treated control cultures in which the SARS-CoV-2 virus was shown to replicate effectively.

After 72 and 96 hours, this margin in average virus titers increased to 99.2% and 99.4% respectively. When allowed to accumulate four the full four days of the study, use of the spray reduced viral titer by 92.4% compared to the control group.

“We are very excited to see the protective effects of AM-301 against Sars-CoV-2 confirmed in an assay that very closely replicates real-life conditions in the human nose,” remarked Thomas Meyer, Auris Medical’s founder, Chairman and CEO. “Our first experiments in September showed that AM-301’s key component trapped up to 99% of Sars-CoV-2 when brought into contact with a viral suspension. Now, with our newly developed spray formulation, we have direct evidence that AM-301 has the potential to significantly mitigate the risk of infection of nasal mucosal cells. We look forward to taking AM-301 through additional tests and advancing the program towards the submission of regulatory applications in 2021.”

Researcher Dr Richard Moakes added: "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. 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 company’s share price rocketed up by 480% on the announcement of the findings.

Matt Fellows

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