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ITC starts clinical trial on anti-Covid nasal spray

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on November 26, 2021

The ITC product is expected to be effective against common cold as well

Diversified conglomerate ITC Ltd has begun clinical trials on a nasal spray for Covid-19 prevention.

The product is expected to be effective against common cold, too, a source familiar with the development said, without giving details on the product in terms of the ingredient used, the stage of the trial and whether it would a prescription-driven or over-the-counter product.

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‘Savlon’ brand

Developed by scientists at ITC’s Life Sciences and Technology Centre (LSTC), Bengaluru, the company plans to market the nasal spray under its ‘Savlon’ brand. “We are unable to share more details at the current moment as the clinical trials are underway,” a company spokesperson said.

The company has registered with the Clinical Trial Registry-India and the product is designed to arrest the virus at the entry-point – at the nasal cavity. And for this reason, nasal sprays are becoming an attractive category. Drugmaker Cipla launched an anti-viral nasal spray, a month ago. Glenmark is in advanced trials to bring the Canadian biotech firm SaNOtize’s nasal spray to India.

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Early days

Doctors say it’s “early days” yet, since little is known about the product. A senior Kolkata doctor said that nitric-oxide nasal sprays (NONS) and their clinical efficacy in combating Covid-19 are being studied.

“Glenmark did announce something on NONS. If, and I repeat, if ITC is looking at similar things surrounding NONS, then there are specific licences which are required,” a doctor with the State Health Department said. Besides, “without ingredient listing and clinical trial data being made public, it is very difficult to judge effectiveness of any medication,” the doctor added.

Shares of ITC Ltd closed at ₹231.30, up 1.49 per cent on the BSE, on Thursday.

Published on November 25, 2021

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