A natural sugar-based antiviral nasal spray developed in the United States is being advanced toward Phase 2 human clinical trials to treat COVID-19 in Pakistan.  The University of Health Sciences (UHS) has opened the clinical trial, on Monday, in collaboration with the UK’s researchers in which the efficacy of Xlear nasal spray against coronavirus will be tested.

The trial is coordinated and managed by Dr Isaac John, Founder and CEO of Metanoic Health Limited, and Associate Director of Research and Development at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Chertsey, Surrey, UK and Dr Meera Nadir, a Clinical Researcher from the same institute.

The trial will test the efficacy of the nasal spray named Xlear for the treatment of COVID-19. The trial will be held at the University of Health Sciences, while it will also involve the collaboration of Lahore General Hospital. As many as 80 volunteers will be part of this Phase 2B clinical trial. The research team from Pakistan will be led by UHS VC Professor Ahsan Waheed Rathore and Director Research Professor Saqib Mahmood.

The intranasal Xlear spray is a natural product extracted from plants. The Xylitol based anti-viral spray cleanses the respiratory pathway. It moisturizes and soothes the sinus and nasal passages while acting like soap for your nose. The spray has been on the market in North America and the European Union countries for more than a decade. It is a very safe anti-viral product but has never been tested for COVID-19.

The clinical trial will be completed by January 2023. If the results are positive, it has the potential to provide another tool for fighting COVID-19 virus. The trial is funded and sponsored by an American Company XLEAR based in Utah.

In this regard, a training session for UHS researchers was held on Monday. Dr Isaac John briefed the participants on the protocols of the trial. On this occasion, UHS VC Professor Ahsan Waheed Rathore said that our faculty would benefit from the experience of British experts in research and development.

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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