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Common Allergy Nasal Spray Medication Shows Potent Efficacy Against SARS-CoV-2

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 22 Sep 2020
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A common allergy nasal spray medication containing azelastine has shown to have potent efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 in a human 3D nasal tissue model.

Azelastine, a generic anti-histamine medication, has previously been identified as a potential anti-COVID-19 drug by CEBINA GmbH (Vienna, Austria) after applying a novel computational prediction approach for providing experimental confirmation. In CEBINA’s collaborative COVID-19 drug repurposing project, azelastine formulated in a nasal spray demonstrated potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in an experimental reconstituted human nasal tissue model and was evident at a lower dose than present in commercially available products. CEBINA is bow planning a proof-of-concept clinical trial to confirm the efficacy of azelastine against nasal colonization and is in discussion with potential licensing partners for worldwide production and distribution of an anti-COVID-19 azelastine nasal spray.

"The confirmation of the efficacy of azelastine in human nasal tissue can have major implications in the fight against COVID-19 as we witness the second wave of coronavirus infections, with record rises in the number of new cases registered daily. We believe a nasal spray formulation containing azelastine could be an immediate prophylactic or post-exposure solution to prevent nasal colonization with the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as preventing the progression to symptomatic disease in infected individuals and the spread of the virus in the population," said Eszter Nagy, MD PhD, CEO and founder of CEBINA GmbH.

"Using the reconstituted human nasal tissue model, we simulated the clinical situation of nasal colonization by SARS-CoV-2 and have observed the strong inhibition of viral propagation. This translational data indicates that azelastine is a potent antiviral agent," said Professor Ferenc Jakab who also collaborated in the COVID-19 drug repurposing project.

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