The University of Birmingham Formulates Nasal Spray to Protect Against COVID-19

November 19, 2020
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Researchers concluded that the nasal spray should catch and coat the virus inside the nose, preventing it from spreading throughout the body, and it is then removed by nose-blowing or swallowing.

The University of Birmingham, United Kingdom’s Healthcare Technologies Institute announced on Nov. 19, 2020 that they have formulated a nasal spray to provide protection against COVID-19.

According to a company press release, the nasal spray consists of λcarrageenan, an antiviral agent, and a gellan polysaccharide, both of which are already manufactured to pharmaceutical grade and approved by regulatory bodies in the UK, Europe, and the United States. The University of Birmingham Enterprise has filed a patent application for the nasal spray for use as an oral, nasal, or multi-surface spray, and is currently looking to license the patent to an organization that wants to manufacture a consumer product for a wide audience.

The research team was led by Professor Liam Grover and Dr. Richard Moakes, who aimed to create a spray that coated the nose evenly and remained at the site it was sprayed onto, the press release said. The team measured the nasal spray’s ability to counteract infection in cell cultures challenged by the virus and tested the dosing by treating the virus before it was added to the cell culture, and then by treating the cells first and then introducing the virus. They concluded that, when used, the nasal spray should catch and coat the virus inside the nose, preventing it from spreading throughout the body, and it is then removed by nose-blowing or swallowing.

“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,” said Dr. Moakes in the press release. “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.”

Source: University of Birmingham