Nasal spray being tested to prevent and treat COVID-19

Scientists around the globe have been closely studying and learning more about COVID-19 over the last few months. Experts are trying to come up with a way to not only treat the highly contagious virus, but also to prevent it.

That's where we bring in Steven Quay, MD and PhD. He's an inventor, author, and serial biotechnology entrepreneur and the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Seattle-Based Atossa Therapeutics, Inc. He works to discover and develop medicines in areas of unmet medical need, currently focusing on breast cancer and COVID-19. AT-301 is Atossa’s proprietary formula against this form of coronavirus.

Dr. Quay says COVID-19 has four stages.

"It spends a couple of days in the nose, goes to the lungs. If you don't stop it there, it goes to your entire body. Then if you recover, you have organ damage. So, in terms of therapeutics, we have now announced a nasal spray program to stop it in the nose. If you could keep it from getting into a cell like a vaccine does, it's much easier than once it gets in a cell. There are three things that it uses to get into a cell, and our nasal spray contains things that block all three interactions," explains Dr. Quay.

He also hopes to be able to offer a nasal spray that would help prevent the disease.

"Nasal sprays can be designed just to stay after you spray for about eight hours on the surface of the inside of your nose. I can imagine either a patient who's already infected or as a prophylaxis to spray, so that's the way we're designing it," states Dr.Quay.

He has also been developing a nasal spray for anemia and osteoporosis. Now the studies will begin on the spray for COVID-19.

"We have contracted with a company in Kentucky to make our clinical supplies, so that's usually a very late stage process and one of the last things you do before you begin clinical testing. Because this is a new pharmaceutical, we'll have to go through Phase One in normal volunteers and then Phase Two in patients to find the right dose and parameters. Then finally, a Phase Three trial, but believe that we can develop this fairly quickly," says Dr. Quay.

He also wrote a book called "Your COVID-19 Survival Manual".

"It's available on my website, and it's really the things I've collected over the last few months of ways that you can shelter place properly and to prepare a mask for going out there. There are some very simple sprays that you can put on a cloth mask and improves its ability to stop the virus about 100 times. So, it's available and the proceeds from that will be used for a military veterans group that's volunteering in communities that are hardest hit by COVID, so I'm pretty excited about making that available for people," says Dr. Quay.

For more information and his book: