Birmingham Biotech, an innovator in diagnostic tests, protective nasal sprays and mobile medical facilities, today announces new evidence from the University of Birmingham that shows NoriZite Nasal Spray can block the infection of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 in lab-based tests.
These promising new laboratory findings provide further experimental evidence that NoriZite creates a physical barrier that can help to prevent viral infection.
A powerful physical barrier against viruses
NoriZite is an easy-to-use nasal device that blocks and traps inhaled viral particles. The unique formulation was developed in the Healthcare Technologies Institute at the University of Birmingham in 2021. Laboratory studies at the time showed that the NoriZite formulation could block the SARS-CoV-2 infection of cells in culture.
The research confirmed the complete inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection for up to 48 hours when exposed to the unique blend of carrageenan and gellan gum.
In new emerging research, the University of Birmingham researchers have further demonstrated the ability of NoriZite to create a physical barrier against other variants. Using an experimental cell culture set-up, the researchers created an environment where the spray formed a physical barrier between the cells and the virus.
They then observed over 48 hours to see if viruses could penetrate the barrier and cause infection. The Stamataki research group conducted the research at the university’s Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy.
The researchers found that the layer of NoriZite Nasal spray could completely block diffusion of the different strains, preventing any infection of the cells. Without the NoriZite Nasal Spray layer, all virus strains diffused through to infect cells, leading to cell death. These results suggest that NoriZite can prevent viruses from infecting local cells by providing a powerful barrier that physically blocks virus particles.
The data is currently held on file by Birmingham Biotech LTD, and the University of Birmingham researchers plan to submit fuller data for publication in the next few months.
There is growing evidence supporting that nasal sprays designed to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection could improve our defences against other respiratory viruses. However, one major challenge remains: how to keep the spray in the nasal lining long enough to be consistently effective?
“Our formulation has been carefully designed with ingredients that form a scientifically proven, powerful barrier to viruses entering the body. If nasal spray formulations are too thin, they will drip out of the nose, meaning they are ineffective or have to be re-applied frequently,” explains Michael Hsu, managing director at Birmingham Biotech.
“NoriZite has a carefully balanced viscosity that covers up to six times more surface area than many other standard sprays on the market. It is retained in the nose for up to six hours after each application.”
Dr Richard Moakes from the University of Birmingham commented, “NoriZite Nasal Spray has a multi-factorial approach to preventing infection. Not only does it maximise the use of carrageenan, which literature shows us to have anti-viral effects, but its viscous formulation means that it can trap the virus as it cannot diffuse through it – as we have demonstrated in our lab studies.”
An extra tool in our arsenal against winter viruses
“With NHS leaders warning of an impending ‘tripledemic’ of Covid, flu, and record demand on urgent and emergency services, we understand that many people are looking to protect themselves and their loved ones this winter,” said Michael Hsu.
“NoriZite Nasal Spray can be used in environments where the risk of exposure to airborne viruses is high, such as public transport, Christmas parties and large gatherings, offering an additional layer of protection and peace of mind.”