Australian-developed COVID nasal spray set to land in Europe

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Melbourne-based Starpharma (ASX:SPL) says it is on target and ready to launch its 'Viraleze' nasal spray in the UK and other European countries in March.

Viraleze (SPL7013) is a virucidal application with a broad spectrum of antiviral efficacy, CEO Jackie Fairley said it aims to reduce the risk of COVID infection in a similar manner to personal protective equipment and social distancing.

SPL7013 has been sold for more than five years in two of Starpharma’s products. It works by blocking the interaction between viral spike proteins and human cell proteins. 

Dr Fairley said laboratory studies of SPL7013 show it is 99.99 per cent effective against SARS-CoV-2 and stops infection when applied to cells before and after exposure to the virus.

She said the company is launching the product in Europe first due to its urgent needs and the speed of regulatory approvals. Dr Fairley said the company is working towards making it available in other countries, including Australia.

“Our European regulatory submission has been completed and undergoing final review ahead of submission shortly,” she said. “Initial launch batches of Viraleze are currently being manufactured to support rapid roll-out following approval.”

The nasal spray is currently manufactured in Europe. It does not require cold storage and will be available over-the-counter. Starpharma said it would like to manufacture Viraleze in Australia.

“The European manufacturer already manufactures an existing product for Starpharma and they make a nasal spray. Due to the spread of the current pandemic, our aim is to make Viraleze available to consumers and businesses as soon as possible,” said Dr Fairley.

“Based on the active antiviral ingredient in Viraleze and its effectiveness against other viral strains, including drug-resistant HIV and HSV, the product is expected to retain activity against SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19) regardless of the mutations being reported in the UK and elsewhere,” added Dr Fairley.