- June 1, 2021
- Posted by: Stratford Team
- Category: Markets
MELBOURNE, Australia, June 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Australia’s Viraleze anti-COVID nasal spray is active against the highly infectious UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, reducing infectivity of the virus by >98%, it was announced today in a major development for the product.
Melbourne-based biopharmaceutical company Starpharma found there was no loss of potency compared to an earlier US strain of the virus, which is irreversibly inactivated by Viraleze within one minute of exposure.
The results hold out significant promise for the product given concerns with the public health impacts of new variants of SARS-CoV-2. Starpharma is also testing the Japan/Brazil and South African variants of COVID, with the results expected in the coming weeks. Testing of the Indian variant will also be undertaken when virus availability allows.
The antiviral testing was conducted by the renowned Scripps Research Institute in the US, with the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, which has been classified as a variant of concern. The UK variant was recently reported to be responsible for over 98% of the positive COVID infections in England and linked to multiple outbreaks worldwide.
Internationally recognised virology researcher, Professor Philippe Gallay, at the renowned Scripps Research Institute in the US, commented: “We are impressed with the antiviral activity of SPL7013, and that it retains potent activity against the SARS-CoV-2 UK variant B.1.1.7.
“It is particularly exciting to see a product with this level of antiviral activity against a variant of concern that is much more transmissible than earlier SARS-CoV-2 strains. The latest data are consistent with our previous data showing antiviral and virucidal effects of SPL7013 against the US strain of this highly infectious virus, and suggest a mechanism of action that is not affected by mutations in the virus spike proteins.”
Viraleze complements other prevention strategies, including vaccines, and has special relevance where social distancing is not possible such as in high-risk environments like travel, hotel quarantine, sporting and social events.
Starpharma CEO Dr Jackie Fairley said the company was pleased to confirm the potency of Viraleze against the UK variant, given the enormous public health challenges posed by the global escalation of SARS-CoV-2 variants.
“SPL7013 (the active ingredient in Viraleze) has consistently shown high levels of antiviral activity, not only against multiple COVID-19 strains but also against a broad spectrum of other respiratory viruses including influenza,” Dr Fairley said.
“These recent findings further support why Viraleze is an ideal and complementary product to use alongside vaccines and other protective measures.”
Dr Fairley said: “The UK variant has been reported to be 43% to 90% more transmissible than preceding strains, and has been responsible for more than 98% of positive SARS-CoV-2 infections in England since early 2021. The spread of this variant also led to a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths in the UK.”
Dr Fairley said the UK variant has been identified to have caused 200,000 cases in the UK and is known to have spread to more than 100 countries to date.
Viraleze is registered for sale in Europe and the UK, and is available through one of the UK’s largest pharmacy chains, LloydsPharmacy. Viraleze is also available online through the viraleze.co website.
More information is available in the detailed announcement https://starpharma.com/news/589
 Davies, N.G., et al. Estimated transmissibility and impact of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 in England. Science 2021;372(6538):eabg3055 (https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abg3055)
Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1522590/210208_Starpharma18590.jpg