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Ena Respiratory's nasal spray reduces COVID-19 replication by 96%

Published on 18/12/20 at 11:18am

Australian biotech Ena Respiratory has revealed that its self-administered nasal spray INNA-051, when taken once or twice weekly, reduced viral replication of SARS-CoV-2 by up to 96%, according to one animal study conducted by Public Health England (PHE), and a second study investigating the treatment in rhinovirus infection in human airway cells.

The therapy works by activating epithelial cells in the body’s airways to boost immune response at the primary site of infection, which was shown in studies to “dramatically” reduce infection and replication rates of COVID-19 in animals.

The treatment proved to be effective in epithelial cells taken from asthma patients, who are known to have delayed anti-viral immune responses.

“We're thrilled to have two such highly-regarded, peer-reviewed journals publish research papers demonstrating the broad-spectrum efficacy of our drug against multiple respiratory viruses, including the COVID-19 and rhinovirus,” explained Ena Respiratory Managing Director, Dr Christophe Demaison. “This is an important milestone as we are on track to initiate safety human trials in Australia by end of March 2021, and onwards to making our treatment available to the public.”

The company believes its nasal therapy can complement distribution of approved COVID-19 vaccines as rollouts commence around the world to help suppress transmission of the virus.

Dr Demaison added: “It's been a remarkable accomplishment of the medical community across the globe to see many vaccines progressed so rapidly but there are still a lot of unknowns about how effective they will be in at-risk populations such as the elderly and those with comorbidities. The emergence of new virus strains remains an ongoing concern. By boosting the natural immune system, we see INNA-051 having a powerful role to play that is complementary to vaccines.

“Our hope is that INNA-051 will ensure individuals exposed to the virus are less likely to spread it, as well as prompting an immune response which will limit the virus's ability to progress beyond mild symptoms,” he continued. “The natural immune response that INNA-051 produces works exceptionally well in minimising the viral replication of COVID-19, and subsequently the risk of community transmission, meaning this is an ideal supplement to vaccines.”

Matt Fellows

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