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Vancouver, B.C., company testing COVID-fighting nasal spray

Chris Miller, left, and Gilly Regev are co-founders of Vancouver-based SaNOtize.
Courtesy of SaNOtize
Chris Miller, left, and Gilly Regev are co-founders of Vancouver-based SaNOtize.

A Vancouver, B.C.-based company has created a nasal spray that reduces the chances of developing COVID-19. 

A clinical trial has shown that the nasal spray developed by the company SaNOtize reduces the viral load of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, by 95 percent in 24 hours and by 99 percent in 72 hours.

The trial, which took place in the United Kingdom, also reported no adverse effects.

The spray uses nitric oxide as the active ingredient, which can act as a disinfectant and is found naturally in humans.

The company is starting stage-three trials in Canada and awaiting approval to do so in the United States.

Chris Miller, the company’s chief scientific officer, sees it eventually being used frequently like hand sanitizer.

"Prior going to the grocery store, after the grocery store, you'd spray it in your nose, for instance, or you go to day care or someone coughs on you," Miller explains.  

The company and various governments are in talks to decide if the spray will need a prescription or will be available over the counter.

Miller, who has a doctorate in respiratory and infectious diseases, says it is therapeutic so it does not replace vaccines but works alongside them. He says this will be really beneficial in areas where the COVID-19 vaccines have yet to be administered or if they become ineffective.  

The spray has been given emergency use authorization in Israel, where it has started to be commercially produced.