At-home nasal spray to prevent COVID-19 being studied

Will it work? Researchers in Baton Rouge need study participants to find out
Nasal spray
Photo credit Getty Images

Is it possible that a simple at-home nasal spray could prevent COVID-19? Researchers at Baton Rouge General are now studying whether such a spray could prevent COVID-19 infections altogether.

Dr. Henry Barham, a rhinologist with the hospital, and a team need participants ages 18 to 65 to conduct a Phase 2 clinical trial of the spray, reported WAFB out of Baton Rouge.

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“Any clinical trial, you’re obviously also studying the safety of it, and so there haven’t been any side effects that we have seen, and we’ve been monitoring these patients very closely,” said Dr. Barham of research into the preventative treatment so far.

Unlike the existing COVID-19 vaccines, which stimulate adaptive immunity by causing the body to make antibodies, the spray would work with the body’s innate immunity. This type of immunity is the defense system a person is born with, the first line of defense preventing infection.

It is not clear whether the spray would replace vaccines or if it would be used in conjunction with them.

“There’s no systemic absorption,” said Barham of the spray. “It’s as simple as just a topical spray, but it works a little differently and what we’re looking at is effectiveness at preventing infection with COVID as opposed to really some of the data behind the vaccines is effectiveness at preventing severe illness and so it’s really a different kind of mechanism.”

As COVID-19 cases surge both in Louisiana and throughout the country, getting more people some immunity to the virus is crucial.

If a person meets the criteria to participate in the study and wishes to take part, they would use the self-administered nasal spray and attend four study-related office visits over six weeks. For information on the study, those interested can call (225) 819-1181.