VIRALEZE™ Nasal Spray Protects Against Highly Infectious Omicron in Viral Challenge Model – Before or After Viral Exposure

MELBOURNE, Australia, July 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Starpharma's broad-spectrum VIRALEZE™ nasal spray has shown protection against infection with the highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant in a stringent viral challenge model.

VIRALEZE™ is a broad-spectrum barrier nasal spray, developed by Melbourne biotech company Starpharma, for application in the nasal cavity to help reduce exposure to virus. VIRALEZE™ is registered in more than 30 countries, including in Europe, and the UK where it is marketed by LloydsPharmacy.

Challenge models are often used in viral diseases to assess the ability of a product to treat or prevent an infection.

In this study, conducted at Scripps Research in the US, 100% of animals treated with VIRALEZE™ before and after Omicron virus challenge had no detectable virus in lung, trachea, or nasal cavity at up to four days post-challenge.

VIRALEZE™ was also highly effective even if used only after exposure to virus – animals treated with VIRALEZE™ only after virus exposure exhibited a >99.999% reduction in viral load in both lung and trachea, compared with saline-treated animals, at day seven. This finding is important because it suggests that even when VIRALEZE™ is used after exposure to virus (e.g., you forget to use the spray before exposure in a high-risk situation), it has potential to provide significant benefit.

These impressive results for VIRALEZE™ were in contrast to saline-treated animals, where 100% had high levels of virus detected in lung, trachea, and nasal cavity from as early as two days post-challenge.

Starpharma CEO Dr Jackie Fairley commented:

"Countries around the world are experiencing significant strain in their healthcare systems as a result of Omicron outbreaks. VIRALEZE™ represents an additional tool for use alongside vaccinations in these challenging times."

These new data provide further in vivo validation that VIRALEZE™ is highly effective in trapping and blocking virus in the nasal cavity and suggest that VIRALEZE™ could be used to help protect from infection with respiratory viruses, including multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants, and potentially as post-exposure prophylaxis to reduce severity of viral respiratory disease.

VIRALEZE™ also has a potential role in future pandemic preparedness given that SPL7013 in VIRALEZE™ has been shown to highly effectively block a broad spectrum of respiratory viruses, including pandemic-causing viruses, such as multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, influenza A and B , and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in vitro.

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