A novel nasal treatment, INNA-051, developed by an Australian biotech company, called Ena Respiratory, to boost the natural immunity to combat common cold and flu, has found to be effective against Coronavirus also.
As reported, INN-051 has reduced the viral replication by up to 96 percent in a top animal study, revealed researchers, led by Public Health England's (PHE) Deputy Director, Professor Miles Carroll.
It was developed before the Coronavirus outbreak to promote broader respiratory epidemics. As per the developers, INNA-051 is not like Coronavirus vaccines, which are targeted to specific strain, instead, it is developed to be effective for all types of respiratory infections.
A Promising Alternative?
The INNA-051 compound stimulates the immune system. As per the new study finding, by boosting the immune response, using the compound before the invasion of a pathogen, the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to infect the animals and replicate was reduced. This research results suggest that the INNA-051 can be used as a method of antiviral preventative therapy, complementary to vaccine programs.
Dr. Christophe Demaison, the Managing Director at Ena Respiratory said that by boosting the natural immunity of the animals with the treatment, "we've seen a rapid eradication of the virus." In addition, he also said that if INNA-051 is found to be effective on humans, "the benefits of treatment are two-fold."
As per Demaison, people who have exposed to the novel Coronavirus would most likely rapidly eliminate it, "with the treatment ensuring that the disease does not progress beyond mild symptoms." It will be helpful to those individuals who fall under the risk group. The rapidity of the INNA-051 treatment response means that the SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals are "unlikely to pass it on, meaning a swift halt to community transmission," he said.
The Australian biotech company has raised AU$11.7m from Australian investors and it is planning for a human trial in less than four months. However, Dr. Chris Nave, CEO of the MRCF and co-founder of Brandon Capital said the results of the animal studies have suggested that INNA-051 would become front runners in terms of fighting the Coronavirus. "We are doing all we can to support Ena Respiratory and its quest to secure additional investment to accelerate the development and testing of the therapy in humans," said Nave.
INNA-051 for Coronavirus Infection
It would be self-administrated via an easy-to-use nasal spray and taken once or twice in a week. As per the report, if the treatment receives a green signal after human trial, then it could be rapidly manufactured at scale and be available for use soon, considering the urgency to reduce COVID-19 spread.
Professor Roberto Solari a respiratory specialist, advisor to Ena Respiratory said the when the researchers from all around the world race to find an effective vaccine against the novel Coronavirus, "This is a significant development." As per Solari, who is also the visiting Professor at Imperial College London, the most exciting part is its ability to significantly reduce virus levels in the nose and throat that gives a hope that "this therapy [INNA-051] could reduce COVID-19 transmission by infected people, especially those who may be presymptomatic or asymptomatic and thus unaware they are infectious."