SaNOtize: Why is This COVID Treatment Getting So Much Attention?

What do we know about the nasal ‘disinfectant’ spray? What do trial results indicate?

SaNOtize: Why is This COVID Treatment Getting So Much Attention?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists have been scrambling to understand the infection, and come up with an effective and sustainable solution for it.

But with the pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, and the various logistical barriers to consider, the pressure on vaccines and those developing the vaccines has been high.

Not to mention the fact that vaccines aren't an absolute solution either.

In such a situation, could SaNOtize's nasal 'disinfectant' spray be the solution?

What is SaNOtize? Can it treat COVID? How does it work? FIT breaks it down.


What Is SaNOTize?

NONS (Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray) is a nasal “disinfectant” spray developed by Canadian pharmaceutical company SaNOtize Research and Development.

The self-administered nasal spray has previously been used to successfully treat influenza and H1N1 viruses and is currently being tested for preventing and treating COVID-19 infections.

According to the company, the treatment can 'prevent the transmission of COVID-19, shorten its course, and reduce the severity of symptoms and damage in those already infected'.

Why is There a Buzz About It?

It is the only theraputic treatment that is not a monoclonal antibody treatment proven to reduce viral load in humans.

And if the Phase 2 clinical trial results are anything to go by, it is one of the most effective treatments as well.

According to a statement released by the company, it succeeded in reducing viral load in highly infected patients by 1.364 which corresponds to more than 95% in 24 hours, and by more than 99% within 72 hours.

“NONS is >99.9% effective against different types of coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19).”

Moreover, the company claims the treatment seems to be affective against variants too.

SaNOtize stated that "the majority of these patients had been infected with the UK variant."

It is also self-administered, and portable.

This means it will be easy to access and use, dramatically reducing the logistical issues and reducing the dependency on health care centres for storage and administration, like in the case of vaccines.

Another considerable plus point is that it is likely to be far more cost-effective and inexpensive than the monoclonal antibody treatments.

How Does it Work?

The SaNOtize treatment works by killing the virus in the upper airways, preventing it from incubating and spreading to the lungs.

In this way it is not only able to reduce the severity of the illness but also speed up recovery and potentially cut transmission.

It is based on nitric oxide (NO), a natural nanomolecule produced by the human body.

Could Nitric Oxide Be a Solution?

Nitric oxide is a cell signalling molecule produced naturally by the body which works as a vasodilator—opens blood vessels for better blood flow.

The pharmacology, toxicity, and safety data for NO use in humans has been well-established, and it has been in use for decades to treat acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) by improving oxygenation of the blood, pulmonary hypertension, and blue baby syndrome.

Nitric oxide is also known to have antimicrobial and immunomodulating properties which is what SaNOtize aims to harness for its COVID treatment.

Previous studies have also found Inhalation of nitric oxide to be effective in reducing severe pulmonary symptoms of COVID.

The phase 2 trials conducted by SaNOtize further prove its efficiency as a COVID treatment.

SaNOtize: Why is This COVID Treatment Getting So Much Attention?
(Photo: SaNOtize)

Is There a Flip Side?

In the clinical trial conducted in the UK, of the 7000 participants, none developed adverse responses.

But previous studies have shown that inhaled nitric oxide could have some long term repercussions. More research is, however, required to determine this.

Where Is It Available?

SaNOtize is currently still largely in the clinical trial stage.

It has completed early phase 2 clinical trials in Canada and UK so far, and is in the process of applying for emergency use authorisation in both the countries.

They have also submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application and received the green light to start clinical trials in the US.

On 22 March, the company announced that it had received interim approval to sell its Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) to the public in pharmacies in Israel, and has been registered to begin sales in New Zealand, under the brand name Enovid.

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