Covid breakthrough as at-home nasal spray one step closer with £3.1m backing

Sage expert slams Boris for avoiding COVID restrictions

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Melbourne biomedical researchers, as the University of Melbourne and Monash University, have received $4.2 million (£3.1 million) to carry out the clinical trials. The trial, ​​which is going to be conducted over six months by Northern Hospital in collaboration with Oxford University, will focus on heparin, a widely used blood-thinning drug.

Australian researchers believe that spraying a blood-thinning drug into the nose could offer protection against Covid.

Heparin is used to treat or prevent blood clots and is also used in the treatment of heart attacks and unstable angina.

The benefits of using this drug as the base of the revolutionary nasal spray are that it is cheap, stable at room temperature and available globally.

Professor Gary Anderson, the director of the Lung Health Research Centre at the University of Melbourne, said that this treatment would be easy to administer.

Covid patients would only need to take two puffs in each nostril, three times a day.

He said: “Basic science studies revealed that intranasal heparin may be an effective way to prevent COVID-19 infection and spread.

“COVID-19 first infects cells in the nose, and to do that the virus must bind to Heparan Sulfate on the surface of nasal cells lining the nose.

“Heparin—the active ingredient in our spray—has a structure that is very similar to Heparan Sulfate, so it behaves as a ‘decoy’ and can rapidly wrap around the virus’s spike protein like a python, preventing it from infecting you or spreading the virus to others.

“Importantly, this nasal spray should prove effective for all COVID-19 variants because the Heparan Sulfate binding site is essential for infection, and is likely to be preserved in new variants.

“Heparin binds avidly to the Omicron variant currently sweeping through the country.”

This spells incredible news for the rest of the world as the Omicron variant surges.

Even the efficacy of vaccines has dropped as people around the world are being urged to get booster shots.

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Professor Anderson added: “It is now essential that we test the actual effectiveness of Heparin in the rigorously designed, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial as this will provide definitive evidence.

“If the treatment is proven to work in the setting of preventing progression and spread within homes, it would support using the spray to protect highly vulnerable populations such as the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weak immune systems.

“It may also prove useful to protect our front-line health care workers from illness and to preserve capacity in the health care system.

“It must be stressed that heparin would be used on top of vaccination and would not replace vaccines.”

New data from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre suggests that, if you’re unvaccinated, you could be up to 60 times more likely to find yourself in intensive care if you are infected with COVID-19.

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