Covid breakthrough as at-home nasal spray one step closer with £3.1m backing | Science | News


Melbourne biomedical researchers, as the University of Melbourne and Monash University, have received $4.2 million (£3.1 million) to carry out the clinical trials. The trial, ​​which is going to be conducted over six months by Northern Hospital in collaboration with Oxford University, will focus on heparin, a widely used blood-thinning drug.

Australian researchers believe that spraying a blood-thinning drug into the nose could offer protection against Covid.

Heparin is used to treat or prevent blood clots and is also used in the treatment of heart attacks and unstable angina.

The benefits of using this drug as the base of the revolutionary nasal spray are that it is cheap, stable at room temperature and available globally.

Professor Gary Anderson, the director of the Lung Health Research Centre at the University of Melbourne, said that this treatment would be easy to administer.

Covid patients would only need to take two puffs in each nostril, three times a day.

He said: “Basic science studies revealed that intranasal heparin may be an effective way to prevent COVID-19 infection and spread.

“COVID-19 first infects cells in the nose, and to do that the virus must bind to Heparan Sulfate on the surface of nasal cells lining the nose.

“Heparin—the active ingredient in our spray—has a structure that is very similar to Heparan Sulfate, so it behaves as a ‘decoy’ and can rapidly wrap around the virus’s spike protein like a python, preventing it from infecting you or spreading the virus to others.

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