Birmingham Biotech Ltd, an innovator in diagnostic tests, protective nasal sprays and mobile medical facilities, and the University of Birmingham have signed a licensing agreement to commercialize a new antiviral nasal spray that protects against COVID-19.
COVID-19 is both transmitted and transmitted by inhalation of droplets or aerosols containing SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the nose is the main viral entry point into the body, making it an ideal target for approaches designed to reduce person-to-person transmission. .
The formulation was developed by Professor Liam Grover, of the University’s Healthcare Technologies Institute, and a team of researchers who also collaborated on its testing.
As COVID-19 restrictions around the world are gradually being lifted, there is a real need for effective methods of virus protection. While existing measures such as wearing masks and handwashing remain crucial, this nasal spray provides an additional protective measure with the potential to reduce infection. We are excited to work with Birmingham Biotech to bring the antiviral nasal spray to individuals around the world. “
Professor Liam Grover, University of Birmingham
Michael Hsu, CEO of Birmingham Biotech commented: “We are pleased to enter into a partnership with the University of Birmingham and be able to work with its world-leading academic researchers to promote medical innovation. We have a shared commitment to bring our proprietary anti-COVID-19 nasal spray to as many people as possible at an affordable price, with a focus on developing markets with the greatest need. “
The antiviral spray is designed to work by encapsulating and inactivating the virus while it is still in the nose, preventing its wider uptake into the body. It is formulated with two compounds already approved by regulatory bodies in the UK, Europe and the US and is widely used in medical devices, medicines and foods.
Each of these connections performs specific functions. The first is a polysaccharide gel that can “plume” instead of “jet spray” when applied with a typical nasal spray applicator and retained on the mucous epithelium of the nose, where it covers and retains the virus so that it does not travel. further down the airways. The second compound is a potent antiviral agent called carrageenan.
The Birmingham researchers confirmed the complete inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 activity by carrageenan and the ability of the formulation to prevent contraction and transmission in cell culture, and confirmed that the spray covers a surface area six times greater than when formulated. without gel.
The license agreement covers the entire duration of the patents and gives Birmingham Biotech exclusive rights to market and sell the antiviral nasal spray worldwide, except India. Following the licensing agreement, Birmingham Biotech plans to establish a joint venture with the University of Birmingham to commercialize new products based on intellectual property and technical knowledge from the university.
In the future, the two parties plan to jointly develop other innovative products and technologies, such as COVID-19 throat sprays and nasal sprays targeted at protecting individuals from other viruses. The anti-COVID-19 nasal spray is expected to be available in the UK and Asia in early 2022.