“The product is a nasal spray that potentially can prevent getting infected … and hopefully also treat the disease early on, in the early stages,” CEO and co-founder Dr. Gilly Regev told Global News Monday.
The product, which uses nitric oxide, will begin clinical trials in the U.K. on Tuesday with patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The company has also recently been approved to start clinical trials in the U.S., and has completed the first Phase 2 trial in Canada where none of the 100 people treated with the spray contracted the virus, Regev said.
Israel is also considering defining the spray as a medical device, not a drug, she added, which means it could get approval in that country much quicker.
Studies suggest that nitric oxide may help prevent the virus from passing through the nose and into the respiratory system.
“This is a liquid, made out of compounds that are used naturally in food, and when you combine them together they create a very small amount of nitric oxide,” Regev explained. “Nitric oxide is a molecule that we all have in our body … and it’s also approved to treat babies who have respiratory challenges.”
Regev said they call it “the hand sanitizer for the nose” because it can be a preventative measure against infection if someone thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
She said the company has had conversations with Health Canada and is seeking funds from the government to conduct a larger clinical trial.
“So once we get the trial and the funding for the trial we can move on with this.”
Such a trial, which would involve about 4,000 people, could take place in a few months once funding is secured, Regev added.
“It is safe. We haven’t had any adverse events. It’s very easy to use. It’s a simple nasal spray that everyone should have in their pocket.”