Allergy Spray a Possible COVID-19 Solution

Consisting of a first-generation antihistamine drug and a novel sugar molecule

Nasal Spray

Nasal Spray

The solution for the coronavirus may not be a pill but a nasal spray using a decades-old antihistamine drug combined with a novel sugar compound originally studied as a natural sugar alternative that helps prevent tooth decay. The allergy spray has now been shown, in a study to be released as soon as tomorrow at medRxiv, to be a strong candidate as perhaps the first safe and effective treatment for COVID-19, according to in vitro results obtained exclusively by HealthyLivinG Magazine from Utah State University’s Institute of Antiviral Research. In addition, HealthyLivinG Magazine has also received clinical results providing anecdotal evidence for efficacy.

DRUG FOR ALLERGY, FEVER, AND COLD

One of the substances being studied for its antiviral effect against COVID-19 is chlorpheniramine (CPM), a first-generation antihistamine. The drug has been used orally for decades in clinical practice for relieving allergy, hay fever, and common cold symptoms.

However, in 2018, CPM was shown to also have strong antiviral effects against viruses, including several that cause influenza, according to a peer-reviewed study published in Frontiers in Microbiology.

After screening a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug library containing 1,280 compounds for effects against viruses, the researchers note that CPM was one of only two drugs with “potent antiviral activity.”

With the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the medication is now being combined with the unique sugar compound called xylitol for efficacy in killing the COVID-19 virus.

In a series of experiments, conducted at Utah State University’s Institute for Antiviral Research, the CPM-xylitol combination was compared to water and denatured alcohol as controls. The CPM-xylitol formula eliminated 70% of the CIVID-19 virus after 25 minutes. This was considered to be a high kill rate considering this preparation is meant for safe use by humans. "This study demonstrates the strong virucidal effect against SARS-CoV-2 of a nasal spray containing chlorpheniramine maleate," the researchers' paper notes. They further state, "CPM has broad antiviral effects against influenza, virucidal effect against SARS-CoV-2, and coadjuvant effects with hydroxychloroquine in treating multidrug-resistant malaria with minimal side effects." Thus, they suggest that it may be used as part of an overall COVID-19 treatment protocol with hydroxychlorquine.

“Three independent replicates of each sample were tested, and the average and standard deviation were calculated,” reports Dr. Jonna B. Westover, the study director. The results were “statistically significant,” Dr. Westover adds.

Corona Juice

Corona Juice

Meantime, apprised of this potential COVID-19 treatment, Utah Senator Mike Lee and his staff teleconferenced last week with Nathan Jones, chief executive officer of Xlear, Inc., the allergy spray developer, about expediting the approval process with the FDA. The drug may be approved under the compassionate use exemption now being employed for the coronavirus pandemic.

The nasal spray that was tested at Utah State has a working name of "Sophia & Natalie Corona Juice," taking the names of Jones's two daughters who happened to be in the car with him while he was dictating the formula. "The trade name for the nasal spray has not been decided but 'Chlorvira' is a front runner,” Jones says.

CLINICAL RESULTS

Xlear, the company working to develop the technology, is based in American Fork, Utah, and has an extensive network of physicians who use the company’s line of sinus nasal sprays. The company has made its “Chlorvira” available to allergists and respiratory physicians in Florida, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela for use with their patients, for over a year.

“We think this combination works best when used as early as possible,” says pulmonologist Gustavo Ferrer, MD, founder of the Cleveland Clinic’s Florida Cough Clinic, who has been conducting allergy-related research with the compound in Latin America for over a year and is working in publishing the first randomized control quartile.

With the emergence of COVID-19, the doctors have begun giving the nasal spray to their flu and COVID-19 patients and have observed symptom relief, sometimes within hours, according to Dr. Ferrer. However, not all the patients were identified as COVID-19 sufferers. Some had the flu from other viruses. He adds that because the combination is effective against both common flu viruses and COVID-19, it doesn’t take knowing which virus you have to start using. Rather, it can be used at the earliest signs of symptoms.

“We’ve known for several years that CPM is a powerful antiviral,” says Ferrer. “We know that xylitol, enhances the antiviral effects as it helps to break up biofilm, keeps the nasal tissue hydrated, and makes the nasal spray palatable. From past research, we know that up to 90 percent of the COVID-19 viral particles are actually lodged in the nasal passages that comprise the upper respiratory tract. Based on the individual clinical results combined with the sound scientific theory, since the advent of the coronavirus, we’ve felt this is definitely an area of research we needed to pursue. We believe that it will work to relieve symptoms of the common flu and days of illness significantly. Now we have two strong lines of evidence from experiments and clinical results that the spray is killing COVID-19 as soon as it enters the body in the upper nasal passages.”

XYLITOL PROMISE

Xylitol, a novel sugar compound obtained from the birch tree, helps maintain healthy nasal function. Viral infections like COVID-19 and influenza attach to the cells in the nasal cavity, says Dr. Ferrer. “If the nasal passages become dried out, as they often do when medicated, and the cilia are not able to move out viruses, bacteria, and other particles, the mucosal integrity of the nasal and respiratory passages is compromised. This is the body’s first line of defense against COVID-19. If we apply pressure here, we can help to prevent its transport into the deep tissues of the lungs.”

A variation of this product has been in development over several years as a nasal allergy spray. Jones notes that drug companies performed studies to show that CPM is safe and effective when used as a nasal spray. “However, the companies doing the original research lost interest in its use as a nasal spray and the nasal-spray studies were never submitted to the FDA,” he says.

Xlear and Dr. Ferrer met with FDA officials in early February to discuss use of CPM with xylitol as a nasal allergy spray and mentioned its antiviral effects could be useful with the emergence of COVID-19.

Interest is emerging in this potentially novel treatment. As word has gotten out about the CPM-xylitol combination, calls have been coming in from COVID-19 sufferers who want to get “Chlorvira.”

“We hypothesized, based on the available research, that chlorpheniramine’s antiviral effect can be potentiated with xylitol as an excipient improving its side-effect profile and reducing the required dose to exert potent and lethal influences against Influenza A/B and coronavirus,” Ferrer says. “We’ve known this nasal spray can potentially arrest, stop, and treat the progression of common viral infections such as the regular flu but now we see its promise against coronavirus.”

Since the first meeting, Dr. Ferrer and team submitted an Investigational New Drug application to FDA. In a letter to life-sciences attorney James A. Boiani of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., the FDA has promised to respond to the use of CPM-based “nasal spray for the acute treatment of COVID-19” by May 29, according to Dr. Sherry A. Stewart, senior regulatory project manager at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

comments powered by Disqus