A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia has shown that a new compound delivered in a nasal spray is highly effective in preventing and treating COVID-19 variants, including alpha, beta, gamma and delta. The compound could also potentially be effective against Omicron too.
The newly developed compound blocks a specific enzymes activity, enzymes of which are present in nasal cells. The nasal cells are the cells in which the virus tends to enter.
For the study, mice were given a daily dose of the compound in a nasal spray over the course of four days. The findings were encouraging, revealing that all of the mice who received a daily dose of the compound survived infection. On the other hand, 80% of the mice treated without the nasal spray became infected. This shows that the nasal spray was highly effective at preventing infection. The researchers findings also suggested that the compound could be effective up to 12 hours after infection.
In addition, senior author Dr. François Jean, associate professor in the UBC department of microbiology and immunology, says there is also potential for the compound to be used against viruses with the same mechanisms, such as influenza viruses.