During the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah 2020, Israeli researchers realized they had a solid real-world opportunity to test a nasal spray they were developing as a defense against COVID-19.
In the new year of the Jewish faith, tens of thousands would travel to and attend the synagogue and related festivals in the densely populated city of Bnei Brak, making it an ideal testing location.
Approved in Israel, Taffix, an aerosol created by Nasus Pharma, creates both a mechanical and chemical protective barrier for approximately five hours when inhaled through the nose. It was this spray that her co-creator, Dalia Megiddo, offered to a rabbi from Bnei Brak to use at festivals.
83 people agreed to use the spray before the festivals according to instructions, reapplying every five hours until the celebrations ended. Surprisingly, of the 83 people who used the nasal spray, Only two people caught COVID-19; both reported that they had forgotten to use it. Of the 160 people who reached out but chose not to use the nasal spray, 16 of them, or 10%, contracted the virus.
A game changer
Nasal sprays are being tested at various research institutes as effective defenses against COVID-19, which makes sense: While the mouth is an extremely hostile environment for viruses, the nose is far less defended.
The Telegraph reports that University of London researchers are working on the first set of clinical trials for a nasal spray: Nitric oxide is its active ingredient, and it has been shown to kill 99.9% of the virus that causes COVID-19and provide protection against incoming and outgoing viruses.
Nitric oxide is something that is found and produced in red blood cells, but it also kills viruses virtually on contact. Pankaj Sharma, a neurology professor working on the University of London trial, sees nasal sprays as a game changer because they disrupt the structural integrity of the virus independently of antibodies or other immune cells.
“If we take the South African variant, once it touches the nitric oxide, it will be structurally destroyed anyway; the fact that it has a different RNA profile makes no difference to nitric oxide, “he told the Telegraph.
Also, since it is simply an endogenous chemical, similar to taking something like a melatonin supplement, you can’t imagine why someone would choose not to use it, or why someone would have adverse reactions.
Featured Image: Robin_24, CC license
Sprinkle your friends with the good news – share this hopeful research …