The Ticino-based pharmaceutical company APR has announced the start of a pivotal clinical trial. This will assess the efficacy of a nasal spray with the provisional code name APR-AOS2020. The class III medicinal device will be used in the study to treat COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms. The study will be conducted by the Hygiene Unit of IRCCS Policlinico San Martino Hospital in Genoa.
The nasal spray was developed by APR using a special nanotechnology platform. According to information from the pharmaceutical company, the device is able to remove and eliminate viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV-2 and its various mutations and variants, in under a minute. This does not irritate the mucosa of the nose and throat. These abilities of the device have already been confirmed in in-vitro tests conducted by the Institute for Antiviral Research at Utah State University.
A total of 57 coronavirus patients are taking part in the clinical trial, which has now started in Italy. The focus is on examining the efficacy and safety of the spray in reducing the viral load in the upper airways of persons who have been recently infected. The company anticipates that the results could represent a starting point for use of the product to prevent severe symptoms and to decrease the infection risk and spread of the virus.
Professor Giancarlo Icardi, Director of the Hygiene Unit at IRCCS, is quoted in the press release saying: “If SARS-CoV-2 viral load in the upper respiratory airways is lower, it is likely that the probability of the virus to enter the lower airways damaging lungs is reduced. The nasal spray, when used in the initial phase of infection or after exposure to risk of infection, could reduce the probability of becoming infected, the worsening of symptoms and the spread of the infection to other individuals.”