- Scientists say pHoxwell may play key role in protecting vulnerable patients
- Its inventors say two pumps in each nostril can provide eight hours of protection
- It has been tested on more than 600 unvaccinated health workers in India
British scientists have developed an anti-viral nasal spray that dramatically reduces the chances of catching COVID.
Its inventors say that two pumps in each nostril protect for up to eight hours.
He believes the PHOXwell spray could play a key role in providing greater protection for vulnerable patients in hospitals and care homes – and encourages staff to return to the office.
NHS heart surgeon and entrepreneur Professor Rakesh Uppal, president of Raphael Labs, the firm behind the invention, said it was ‘a significant breakthrough’, adding: ‘We now have an effective device, which was previously missing, in this pandemic. to fight with.
‘Vaccination, while absolutely necessary, is not 100 percent effective and it is still possible to become infected with and transmit the virus that causes COVID-19.’
British scientists have developed an anti-viral nasal spray that dramatically reduces the chances of catching COVID. stock picture
He said the spray provided additional protection over vaccines and PPE because it prevented this virus, Sars-CoV-2, from infecting the mucous membranes in the nose — the main entry point into the body.
The spray was tested on more than 600 uninfected healthcare workers in India, which was at the peak of the initial heat wave.
Those who received PHOXwell were two-thirds less likely to be infected with COVID over a 45-day period than their peers who were given the dummy spray.
The main objective is to help protect the millions of people in developing countries who have been unable to receive a COVID vaccine. Being stable at room temperature, the spray is easy to transport and store.
But it can also benefit people who have been hurt – as vaccination does not provide complete protection against infection. Professor Angela Russell, a chemist from Oxford University who is one of the inventors of PHOXwell, said: ‘We think something like a spray can help us get the country back on its feet.
‘People will be able to come together in enclosed spaces with greater confidence. You can see that having the spray in your bag is as common as taking pills like Paracetamol when you have a headache.’
Laboratory studies found the spray – which contains an active substance that is lethal to some viruses but otherwise harmless – killed Sars-CoV-2 in 30 seconds. This prevents it from passing into the nose and thus beyond the mucus in the body. It was also active against the flu, killing it within five minutes.
Ein McKnight, Professor of Viral Pathology at Queen Mary University of London, who was also involved in the project, said: ‘Nasal sprays could be a new way to protect and stop the spread of the virus.’