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Nasal spray using body's immune system provides hope of cure for common cold

A nasal spray that mimics our own natural defense system may be the answer to beating the common cold, according to a report in the latest issue of the Society of Chemical Industry's (SCI) magazine, Chemistry & Industry, published today.

The spray, being produced by the Califormia based company Novabay, contains an analogue of N-Chlorotaurine (NCT), a compound produced by white blood cells when they are attacked. It works in a similar way to bleach in that it creates a chlorine cover around microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, which kills them.

Ronald Eccles, director of the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University hailed Novabay's approach as 'interesting and potentially useful'.

There is currently no treatment for the common cold but if talks between Novabay and the UK's NHS to set up clinical trials to test the spray's efficacy become a reality, it may only be a matter of time before a cure is on the horizon.

The spray has already proved effective against MRSA, achieving an 88% decolonisation rate in clinical trials.

And because the treatment would be based on our immune system, there would be no danger of growing resistance.

'Antibiotics are a dead end we are losing all of our effective antibiotics and we simply need something else,' says Novabay CEO Ron Najafi.

But Ronald Eccles urged caution saying; 'The next step is to see what happens when it is applied in the nose of patients. Many substances that work in vitro against viruses fail to work in clinical trials in patients.'


Contact: Meral Nugent
Society of Chemical Industry

Page: 1

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