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Australian firm says its nasal spray reduced coronavirus growth in animal study

Australian firm says its nasal spray reduced coronavirus growth in animal study

Medical personnel administer tests for COVID-19 at a pop-up testing centre in Sydney, Australia, Jul 30, 2020. (File photo: REUTERS/Loren Elliott)

SYDNEY: Australian biotech company Ena Respiratory said on Monday (Sep 28) that a nasal spray it is developing to improve the human immune system to fight common cold and flu significantly reduced the growth of the coronavirus in a recent study on animals.

A study on ferrets showed the product dubbed INNA-051, which could be used complementary to vaccines, lowered the levels of the virus that causes COVID-19 by up to 96 per cent, the company said. The study was led by British government agency Public Health England.

Ena Respiratory said it would be ready to test INNA-051 in human trials in less than four months, subject to successful toxicity studies and regulatory approval.

The company has raised A$11.7 million (US$8.24 million) for the development of the spray. Investors include venture capital firm Brandon Capital, the Australian federal government, pension funds and biotech giant CSL.

READ: Australia COVID-19 hotspot Victoria says cases fall to single digits

Several companies across the world are in the pursuit of developing a coronavirus vaccine. Australia has entered into agreements with some drug companies investing billions to secure potential vaccines for COVID-19, which has killed over 1 million people worldwide.

Australia has so far reported 875 deaths and just over 27,000 coronavirus cases, far less than the numbers reported in other developed countries.

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Source: Reuters/dv

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