Canada-based SaNOtize Research and Development has initiated the clinical trials of its nasal spray against Covid-19 at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey, UK.

SaNOtize Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) is designed to exterminate the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the upper airways and stop its incubation and spread to the lungs.

The treatment is based on a natural nanomolecule called nitric oxide, produced by the human body with proven anti-microbial properties against SARS-CoV-2.

In lab tests at Utah State University’s Antiviral Research Institute, the spray proved to be 99.9% effective in killing the virus within two minutes.

Furthermore, studies using the spray in Covid-19 infected rodents showed a 95% drop in viral load within a day after infection while half the rodents showed no detectable virus.

The rodents were first inoculated with the virus and given two treatments of the nasal spray.

At present, the SaNOtize NONS is in Phase II clinical trials throughout Canada approved by Health Canada as well as in other countries.

University of London Institute of Cardiovascular Research at Royal Holloway director and Neurology professor Pankaj Sharma said: “The fact that a relatively easy and simple nasal spray could be an effective treatment is welcome news and offers a significant advance in our therapeutic armoury against this devastating disease.”

Hospital trials of nitric oxide on critically ill Covid-19 patients are progressing in the US and Europe.

SaNOtize chief science officer and co-founder Dr Chris Miller said: “The SaNOtize nasal spray provides a barrier. It contains nitric oxide which prevents and treats early infection by destroying the virus and impeding viral replication within the cells in the nose.

“In addition, nitric oxide has been shown to block the ACE-2 receptor essential for the virus to infect our cells.”