CM – Melbourne scientists say the world’s second most common drug could block COVID transmission


Melbourne researchers are testing a new nasal spray treatment that they believe could prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

They have one of the most widely used drugs in the world, a blood thinner called heparin, in a spray transforms what began as a « crazy idea » according to its developer at the beginning of the pandemic.

Northern Health’s medical division director Don Campbell has spent 20 months developing the spray with the Universities of Melbourne, Monash and Oxford and to explore. So far, they’ve found that it can block the transmission of the virus, including Omicron, to uninfected people.

The spray covers the inside of your nostrils and attaches itself to one of the types of molecules that COVID normally enters. This prevents the proteins of any variant from infecting your cells.

It works with just a few sprays in each nostril, three times a day.

As a blood thinner (or anticoagulant), heparin is the second most widely used drug in the world. It’s easy to get, stable at room temperature, and can be shipped without refrigeration, which makes the spray cheap and accessible.

The Victorian government is throwing $ 4.2 million into clinical trials and hoping the spray will if successful can be produced locally.

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Over the next six months, the spray will be tested in 340 Victorian homes where residents are considered household contacts of a positive case. You will receive treatment within hours of the positive result from the first family member.

The developers hope that the spray could complement the protection offered by vaccines, especially for people in high-risk environments.

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