Thailand releases innovative anti-COVID nasal spray

Thailand’s government approved the sale of a nasal spray formulated to prevent COVID-19 infections that was jointly developed by a private company, a local university and government agencies, giving the Kingdom and potentially the world a new weapon in the battle against the coronavirus.

The spray, which has been approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), can prevent the coronavirus from attaching to the surfaces of the nasal cavity. Its active ingredient, Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose (HPMC), coats the inner lining of the nose, creating a barrier that blocks the virus from being absorbed through membranes. The spray must be used three times a day, every six hours.

The spray is representative of how Thailand has used the pandemic to spur ideas and innovations in medicine and public health. Researchers in the Kingdom have also been developing locally formulated vaccines against COVID-19, including one made from tobacco leaves. The United Nations has praised Thailand’s public health system as a positive model for what developing nations can achieve.

The nasal spray was jointly developed by the Health Systems Research Institute (HSRI), the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) and Hibiocy Company. Pharmacies began stocking the spray on October 1, which is being sold under the brand name “VAILL CITITRAP Anti-Cov Nasal Spray.”

The spray can also be ordered through Facebook and the LINE chat application in the Kingdom.

Hibiocy has registered patent rights for the nasal spray, and its director said that the innovation was created by Thailand for Thailand. When supplies are sufficient, the spray should be available for export if approved by authorities in destination markets.

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