Israel and New Zealand have given interim approval for the sale of biotech firm SaNOtize Research and Development's Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) which could help prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus, the company said on Monday.
Manufacturing of NONS, under the brand name Enovid, has begun in Israel with SaNOtize's partner Nextar Chempharma Solutions Ltd and it is expected to be on sale this summer.
In New Zealand, SaNOtize has registered its nasal spray with the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority, which permits the company to distribute and sell NONS over the counter immediately, the Vancouver-based company said.
NONS protects users from viruses that enter the body through the upper nasal pathways.
"We hope that our nasal spray will now save the lives of many people in countries waiting for the vaccine," said Dr. Gilly Regev, the Israeli CEO and co-founder of SaNOtize.
"It will be accessible to everyone and can be used in prevention to protect against any respiratory viral infection," she added.
Last week, SaNOtize and Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey, UK announced results of clinical trials showing that NONS was an effective antiviral treatment that could prevent the transmission of COVID-19, shorten its course, and reduce the severity of symptoms and damage in those already infected.
Chris Miller, SaNOtize's chief science officer, said its formulation of Nitric Oxide for use in humans is designed to "kill viruses in the upper airways, preventing them from incubating and spreading to the lungs."
i24NEWS contributed to this report.