A nasal spray said to be effective in preventing coronavirus infection is being developed by Thai scientists, and the product will be ready for launch later this year, according to the developers.
The spray is being developed under joint efforts by Chulalongkorn University, Silpakorn University, Health Systems Research Institute (HSRI), the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) and an undisclosed private bioscience company.
Dr Chanchai Sittipunt, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University, said a cooperation agreement has been signed to produce the anti-COVID-19 nasal spray, and it could be a subject for global research.
A team of researchers has undertaken the development of the spray since the onset of the pandemic two years ago with support from the private sector and state-run HSRI, he said.
Development has reached a point where a prototype antibody was obtained and subsequently patented, he said.
Now the technology is being transferred to the private sector, which is conducting clinical research to meet the standards needed for registration with the country’s Food and Drug Administration, he said.
Dr Sittipunt expects the spray to be made available for sale in the third quarter of this year, adding Silpakorn University’s Faculty of Pharmacy has studied the spray with Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine using lab animals.
The nasal spray has proven capable of keeping the coronavirus out of the body, he noted.
HSRI director Dr Nopporn Chuenklin said the spray is built on a prior research project on a monoclonal antibody cocktail obtained from COVID-19 patients who have recovered.
He added the institute received a research fund with the aim of reinforcing public health security and offering equal access to health services to people.
Meanwhile, GPO director Witoon Danwiboon said the GPO has been the main producer and procurer of medicines used in the fight against COVID-19.
The GPO has a role in the production of the nasal sprays, which are to be tested in volunteers to determine its efficacy and safety, he said.