Could A New Nasal Spray Treatment Be The End Of Covid-19?

Emma

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

Could A New Nasal Spray Treatment Be The End Of Covid-19

The latest in COVID-19 treatment comes in an unexpected package: a COVID-19 nasal spray, one that’s able to deactivate the virus after it’s already established itself in the human body. It’s even been shown to be effective against the Omicron variant itself.

We know it sounds kind of crazy. Is the new COVID nasal spray the real deal?

A New “Anti-COVID” Nasal Spray Is Making Waves

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is especially adept at evading incoming antibodies seeking to neutralize it in your system. This tendency is what makes it so difficult to eliminate from a victim’s body entirely, even after long-term COVID treatment and several booster vaccines.

Now, a new approach may provide a source of hope for those suffering from the worst of what Omicron has to offer. A coronavirus nasal spray might be able to intervene in the virus’s presence in the body before it has a chance to take root in the lungs permanently. 

At the heart of this novel coronavirus treatment: a molecule capable of disarming the spike proteins that the virus uses to bind with healthy human cells. The molecule in question? TriSb92. The University of Oxford has officially begun its open-label clinical trial of this innovative new way of reckoning with COVID-19 in all of its forms.

How Does the TriSb92 Nasal Spray Deactivate COVID-19?

TriSb92, a protein molecule manufactured by the human body, is an antibody mimetic—an organic compound that antibodies produce and weaponize against intruding antigens, which is a fancy term for viruses and other disease-causing organisms.

This compound targets the external, receptor-binding organs of the coronavirus, most notably effective against Omicron’s outlandishly-mutated “spike” glycoprotein. It can effectively neutralize these outer protein structures; disarming the virus’s receptors renders the viral unit completely impotent and unable to transmit and impose itself onto new, still-healthy cells.

According to animal studies conducted by this team, a single dose of TriSb92 anywhere from 5 to 50 micrograms may be enough to protect a victim from contracting an infection when taken eight hours before being exposed to the coronavirus.

Those in the scientific community are extremely interested in these findings. The evidence shows success where an intravenous vaccine has failed us in the face of both the Delta variant and our current life under the tyrannical rule of Omicron. 

Is the Coronavirus Nasal Spray Really Effective Against All Variants?

After a long, uphill struggle against Omicron especially, the new COVID-19 nasal spray proposal has many public health experts breathing a sigh of relief. 

This COVID-19 treatment was also shown to be effective against SARS, another problematic human coronavirus of the past. Anna Makela, one of the driving forces behind this revolutionary new study, claims that this implies that the theory should hold strong, even as COVID-19 continues to mutate and change far into the future:

“Targeting this inhibitory effect of the TriSb92 molecule to a site of the coronavirus spike protein common to all variants of the virus makes it possible to effectively inhibit the ability of all known variants, Omicron included, to infect people.”

Can a COVID Nasal Spray Replace Vaccines Entirely?

The researchers who carried out this radical new study are careful to mention that a coronavirus nasal spray may not necessarily be enough to phase out COVID-19 vaccines entirely. Instead, they should be considered a supporting measure of protection, one extra layer of insurance against the virus in the short term.

This two-pronged approach has been heralded by many as more than necessary. Clinically, it’s challenging to protect the upper respiratory system through an intramuscular injection, an especially challenging problem in this case especially. The lungs are where long COVID really sinks its teeth in—if we’re able to interrupt the lung-seeding process as it’s underway, the victim is much less likely to suffer from long-term COVID.

While the scientists behind this series of inquiries are quick to remind us that vaccines may never be entirely off the table for the majority of the world, these studies do mention that a successfully-designed COVID nasal spray may, indeed, be able to protect even unvaccinated, SARS-CoV-2-negative adults to some extent, even if this coverage is not air-tight.

What they mean by this is that this new, TriSb92-based way of treating patients might be more suited to preventing severe illness in the individual most prominently—it’s more capable of managing the well-being of the victim than it is at preventing the person from spreading the virus and infecting those around them.

With both a full round of vaccination and your trusty COVID nasal spray at your side, you’ll be much less likely to suffer greatly after contracting COVID-19 and much less likely to infect others. Nasal sprays are also convenient and less of a “commitment” than the song and dance of seeking a full round of COVID vaccinations. To this end, a COVID nasal spray might be the perfect gateway drug for the vaccine-hesitant and vaccine-opposed.

The official COVID-19 nasal spray is currently in its first Phase 1 trial. The efficacy of the treatment and the body’s immune response are all under the spotlight. Suppose the team of researchers at the helm of the nasal spray movement emerge triumphantly. In that case, the market for the treatment on an international scale will likely be significant, especially if it ends up being cheap enough to manufacture en masse.

Omicron Nasal Spray: A Protective Measure for the Convalescent and COVID-Susceptible

Nasal spray treatment is, for many, a much more attractive option than an injection. Whether the patient is an anti-vaxxer through and through or simply a little needle-averse, a COVID nasal spray may provide one vital alternative opportunity for healthcare providers tending to patients who are already severely ill.

One squirt and the patient’s symptoms are significantly alleviated, or so the study claims. After this treatment’s Phase 1 trial has met its conclusion, we’ll know beyond a doubt whether or not this exciting new development really is too good to be true.

Emma

Medically reviewed by:

Emma Garofalo is a writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. A lover of science, art, and all things culinary, few things excite her more than the opportunity to learn about something new." It is now in the sheet in the onboarding paperwork, apologies!!

Medically reviewed by:

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