Doctors at Baton Rouge General Hospital are testing a nasal spray to see if it prevents people from contracting COVID-19.
If effective, the treatment could prove to be a powerful tool in combating pandemic disease at home.
The hospital is one of two sites in the United States conducting second phase clinical trials for GeneOne Life Science’s nasal spray, GLS-1200. The goal: to see how well the self-administered spray prevents respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Unlike COVID-19 vaccines which prevent serious illness by familiarizing the body’s antibodies with the new coronavirus, the spray stimulates receptors in the nasal passages to prevent respiratory infections.
As part of the Phase 2 clinical trial, Barham and his team are looking for participants between the ages of 18 and 65 who have not contracted COVID-19. The study also allows people who have already been vaccinated to register.
Two out of three participants will receive the GLS-1200 nasal spray, while others will receive a placebo.
Louisiana saw the lowest number of people die from COVID-19 in April and May than any other month since the disease began to spread across the …
The aim of the second phase of the trial is to test how the treatment blocks the virus, as well as its tolerability and safety.
Since the start of clinical trials in February, Barham said his team had seen no side effects from nasal sprays.
Because the treatment could be used for people vaccinated against COVID-19, it also has the potential to add even more protection against it and other respiratory illnesses, like the flu.
While still relatively early in the clinical approval process, nasal sprays may soon help slow the spread of COVID.
Health experts are increasingly concerned about emerging versions of the coronavirus which are more contagious and appear to be more serious than previous strains. In Louisiana, as many as 28 different variants of COVID have circulated in recent months, according to Dr. Lucio Miele, who chairs the department of genetics at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine.
Although the three vaccines approved in the United States appear to be very effective against known variants, health officials have warned that future strains could weaken the ability of vaccines to protect people.
“If anything, it could be used in conjunction (with vaccines),” said Barham, adding that the variants would have no impact on how the spray is supposed to work.
Similar trials for the GLS-1200 are also underway in Philadelphia, with another scheduled to begin in Texas soon.
Trial participants must self-administer the spray three times a day for six weeks.
Anyone interested in the study can find out more by calling (225) 819-1181 or visiting sinusandnasalspecialists.com.