Dr. Gilly Regev and her team may be about to help save the world
Far from the limelight, an Israeli scientist may have the breakthrough the world is waiting for: effective protection against the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
Dr. Gilly Regev, CEO of the Vancouver-based startup company SaNOtize, has developed a nasal spray that is 99.9 percent effective in killing the coronavirus. It is essentially a hand sanitizer for your nose. It kills Covid-19 in the nasal passage at the portal of the body.
“If someone sneezes on you, or you think you’re exposed to Covid, you pull it out of your purse or your pocket, you spray, and that prevents the virus from infecting you,” says Dr. Chris Miller, chief scientist at SaNOtize.
The company’s formula was tested at Utah State University’s Institute for Antiviral Research, where independent researchers found it killed 99.9 percent of the type of coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
Until a vaccine is developed, which could take many months, if not years, SaNOtize may provide the protection the world needs to return to normal.
“We know that infection starts in the nasal passages – that’s where the virus enters the body,” says Regev, who was raised in Israel and has a PhD in Biochemistry from the Hebrew University. “It multiplies there. If we kill it when it enters the body, we will not get sick.”
“I hang out around a lot of people. I come out of public transportation and I step out and I want to make sure that I’m protected. I take off my mask and I spray into my nose. I make sure that I protect myself and I will not be exposed to the virus,” Regev says.
If we kill it when it enters the body, we will not get sick
Nitric Oxide is the key ingredient in the spray that kills the coronavirus. Its properties were discovered by Prof. Ferid Murad of Stanford University, who won a Nobel Prize for his research.
“It does a lot of interesting things and you can incorporate this molecule as a new approach to treat infections,” Prof. Murad told the OurCrowd Summit in Jerusalem in February 2020.
“Prof. Murad discovered that in nitroglycerin, Nitric Oxide was being produced as the active ingredient to help with heart attacks, and he is on our board of directors,” Miller says.
The SaNOtize treatment is currently undergoing Phase II clinical trials under the auspices of Health Canada.
“We have ongoing trials in Canada and we’re getting ready to start in the United States and UK,” he adds.
Once the results of the trials are in, the company plans to gear up for mass production to make its treatment available across the globe.
“We developed a new nasal spray device that we have patented,” Regev says. “We’re using a new filling machine that will be able to have millions of bottles manufactured quickly so we can get into market as soon as possible once we get approval.”
For now, mobilizing to treat Covid-19 is the top priority, but the SaNOtize formula has wider applications beyond the current crisis.
“One day, Covid will be over, and there is still a future for this product because this is a general antiviral, and this can protect you from the flu, or from the next pandemic,” she says.