Nitric oxide is being tested as an experimental treatment for COVID-19 | Instant News


TORONTO –
In the race to find effective and low-cost COVID-19 treatments, strong molecules that have long attracted the attention of medical researchers are increasingly popular.

Nitric oxide, a two-part nanomolecule made in cells lining blood vessels, is being examined as an experimental treatment for a disease caused by a new coronavirus. Studies show it plays a role in helping to relax blood vessels and open airways in the lungs – critical in treating those who have advanced cases.

Among the companies competing to utilize this naturally produced gas is a Canadian company that is experimenting with nitrate nasal sprays or mouthwashes that can help those at high risk of contracting COVID-19.

SaNOtize Research has been awarded a $ 400,000 grant from the National Research Council and is currently conducting phase two clinical trials on people at high risk for contracting COVID-19, including frontline workers, and those with mild symptoms.

The trial, which began in British Columbia, is being extended to participants in Quebec on June 1, with talks about a study based in Ontario in the near future.

“It is very important for us to complete this trial as soon as possible and then we can work with regulatory authorities, then we can play it in three to four months,” Chris Miller, SaNOtize’s Chief Scientific Officer, told CTV News.

Nitric Oxide has many properties – produced by cells lining our blood vessels to help control blood pressure and open airways in the lungs, allowing more oxygen to be absorbed.

But the researchers also found nitric oxide has antibacterial and antiviral effects.

SaNOtize nasal sprays are designed to “disinfect” your upper airway using nitric oxide. Preliminary tests of the company’s products show that the spray disables more than 99.9 percent of SARs-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, within two minutes during laboratory tests.

“You use hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands. “It’s a similar idea, but instead of hand sanitizer, this is a nasal spray to sterilize your upper airway,” SaNOtize CEO Gilly Regev told CTV Vancouver.

Without confirmed therapeutic treatments for COVID-19, researchers around the world have turned their attention to molecules that were once dubbed “molecules of the year.”

Discovered in the 1980s, nitric oxide has been approved for use in helping to increase oxygen levels in premature babies and is used in several heart procedures and medications for erectile dysfunction.

One study which stated that the pot was potential as a tool against COVID-19 was a report by Dr. Roham Zamanian, a pulmonologist at Stanford Health Care in California. His team gave nitric oxide to a woman suffering from pulmonary arterial hypertension who also had COVID-19.

The doctor treated him at home, adding gas to his oxygen supply.

Over 11 days, the patient improved and did not need hospitalization.

“We saw an improvement in his symptoms, we saw an improvement in his ability to walk more than six minutes, which is our usual cardiopulmonary reserve test,” Zamanian told CTV News.

“We can document that he felt better and better when we gave him nitric oxide, until the 15th day, 16 where we wanted to start stopping treatment.”

His recovery pushed Zamanian so much that his center is now launching inhalation nitric oxide studies in patients who are hospitalized and those who are recovering at home

Other research is ongoing at the University Health Network in Toronto to see whether high-dose inhaled nitric oxide administered in hospitals can reduce viral levels and improve breathing in COVID-19 patients using ventilators.

Scientists in Boston and Louisiana also provided several hundred seriously ill nitric oxide patients, with initial results expected in the coming weeks. Some devices that produce nitric oxide have also been given the green light for testing in the US.

The researchers said the side effects of the gas were minimal and they hoped to have more data on various approaches later this year, before the expected second wave of disease.

Meanwhile, watching from the sidelines, is one of three Nobel Prize-winning scientists responsible for finding molecules about two decades ago.

“There are many reasons to believe that nitric oxide will work in the current coronavirus situation,” American pharmacologist Lou Ignarro told CTV News.

“That would be far more valuable than the Nobel Prize that would make me so happy. You know I am 79 years old and this will be the most fantastic thing I can hear. ”

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