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First-in-Class Nasal Spray Could Both Treat and Prevent COVID-19

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 17 Jun 2021
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Image: First-in-Class Nasal Spray Could Both Treat and Prevent COVID-19 (Photo courtesy of ENA Respiratory)
Image: First-in-Class Nasal Spray Could Both Treat and Prevent COVID-19 (Photo courtesy of ENA Respiratory)
A first-in-class nasal spray is being developed for the treatment as well as prevention of COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections.

ENA Respiratory (Perth, Australia) is developing its lead clinical candidate, INNA-051, to activate innate immunity in the nose, the primary site of most respiratory virus infections, including COVID-19. The company is poised to initiate its Phase I human safety study of INNA-051 in the coming weeks.

Unlike other potential prophylactic approaches to COVID, INNA-051 directly stimulates the host’s innate immune defense that plays a key role in clearing viruses and other pathogens. A gold-standard animal study performed by Public Health England (PHE) demonstrated that ENA’s nasal spray reduces COVID-19 viral replication by up to 96%. If humans respond in a similar way, the spray could be used to protect people very quickly from infection and lower community transmission. Based on its mechanism of action and non-clinical studies demonstrating efficacy against multiple, non-related respiratory viruses, INNA-051 has the potential to prevent existing and emerging respiratory viral infections, such as COVID-19 and its variants.

The key features of INNA-051 intranasal administration include limited minimal or no systemic bioavailability, minimal or no systemic pro-inflammatory cytokine release, no direct type I interferon upregulation, durable immune response supporting twice-weekly administration and compatibility with vaccine and intranasal corticosteroids.

“We recognize that in addition to vaccines, the world needs safe, convenient, broad-spectrum anti-viral therapies to win the fight against COVID-19,” said Chris Smith, Ph.D., Chairman of ENA Respiratory. “INNA-051 could be incredibly helpful in protecting at-risk populations such as health workers, the elderly and immunocompromised patients against existing and emerging variants. Because INNA-051 is not virus-specific, it could also play a key role beyond fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, in combating seasonal flu or any future respiratory viral outbreaks.”


Related Links:
ENA Respiratory


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