This Nasal Spray Could Be The Breakthrough We Need To End Covid-19

Researchers have discovered a new peptide, delivered in the form of a nasal spray, that has the potential to end the pandemic sooner than later. It appears to block transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in ferrets, and if it proves effective in humans, a squirt or two up the nose would prevent contagion by even large amounts of virus. The only question is how long it will take to find out.

In a small study published yesterday in bioRxiv and currently undergoing peer review, two ferrets were given the nasal spray and another two a placebo. Researchers stuck them in a cage with another ferret that had been infected the day before, and 24 hours later, out they came—two perfectly protected and two infected.

Were the spray to protect humans as well as it does ferrets, it would be comparable with a successful vaccine in terms of its ability to prevent the spread of disease—not to mention better than many of the Covid-19 vaccines currently in phase 3 clinical trials that have proven only moderately effective. Rather than mitigating symptoms after the fact, the nasal spray would work prophylactically to stop infection altogether.

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Originally published on Forbes (November 10, 2020)

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.