Clinical trial investigates COVID-19 protection for health professionals

Clinical trial investigates COVID-19 protection for health professionals
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Healthcare professionals in the UK will be taking part in a clinical trial to test the efficacy of Carragelose nasal spray for COVID-19 protection.

To be carried out at Swansea University Medical School, the double-blind trial is one of two taking place in Europe to test the Iota-/kappa-carrageenan nasal spray as a COVID-19 treatment for healthcare professionals (ICE-COVID). The second trial to test the COVID-19 nasal spray is taking place in Vienna, Austria.

The investigator-initiated trial at Swansea will be recruiting 480 healthcare professionals managing COVID-19 patients during the pandemic and the objective of the study is to assess the efficacy of the nasal and throat spray in reducing the rate, severity, and duration of COVID-19 infections.

Protection from respiratory viruses

Further endpoints include infection with other respiratory viruses, the usability of the spray for treatment, and the effects on quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). The ongoing clinical trial is supported by Marinomed Biotech AG, the originator and licensor of Carragelose and Boots UK; the Carragelose nasal spray used in the study is marketed as ‘Boots Dual Defence’ in the United Kingdom.

The study population will be equally randomised into a treatment group and a placebo group and will apply the study regime three times a day, one dose into each nostril and three throat sprays, over the course of eight weeks.

Dr Eva Prieschl-Grassauer, Chief Scientific Officer at Marinomed, said: “With the world in the devastating grip of this SARS-CoV2 pandemic and nurses and doctors especially exposed, we are looking forward to this very important clinical data from the Swansea trial. Our pivotal clinical data for Carragelose demonstrated alleviation of different coronavirus infections. Marinomed has been able to show neutralising activity towards the new coronavirus in vitro earlier this year.

“We have very good reason to expect and hope that the trial will confirm our in vitro findings and contribute to validating Carragelose nasal spray as a COVID-19 prophylaxis for the vulnerable community of healthcare professionals, protecting them from contracting COVID-19 infections.”

“After seeing the effects of this pandemic on colleagues caring for patients with COVID-19, we wanted to find a way for research to help protect frontline NHS staff,” said Dr Zita Jessop, Principal Investigator for the clinical trial and clinician scientist at Swansea University. “Previous studies highlighted the effectiveness of iota-carrageenan-based nasal sprays against coronaviruses, indicating promise against SARS-CoV-2. If the results of this randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial are positive as we expect, this has the potential to add an extra prevention strategy in the fight against COVID-19.”

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