MUMBAI, India — India’s Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and Canadian biotech firm SaNOtize Research and Development Corp. on Aug. 2 announced an exclusive long-term strategic partnership to manufacture, market, and distribute Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) for Covid-19 treatment in India and other Asian markets.

The other Asian markets include Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Nepal, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.

Glenn Saldanha, Chairman and Managing Director of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, said the partnership with SaNOtize closely aligns with Glenmark’s focused approach against Covid-19 and will help reduce the burden of the pandemic in the region.

“It also marks another valuable in-licensing opportunity for us in our key therapy area of respiratory medicine, as well as the possibility to globally supply the product to SaNOtize and its partners outside our territory,” said Saldanha.

“Glenmark will ensure timely and widespread access to this effective nasal spray, which we hope will bring much-needed relief to patients across the region and the wider world.”

In March, SaNOtize’s clinical trials showed Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray was a safe and effective antiviral treatment to prevent the transmission of Covid-19, shorten its course and reduce the severity of symptoms.

Patients with a self-administered nasal spray application were found to have reduced SARS-CoV-2 log viral load by more than 95 percent in infected participants within 24 hours of treatment and by more than 99 percent in 72 hours, the trial revealed.

Available in the form of a simple nasal spray, it is designed to kill the virus in the upper airways, preventing it from incubating and spreading to the lungs.

It is based on Nitric Oxide (NO), a natural nano-molecule with proven anti-microbial properties and which has a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19.

In early July 2021, Glenmark presented a proposal to the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) for emergency approval for importing and marketing the nasal spray.

The committee has recommended a Phase III clinical trial to be conducted in Indian patients in the following weeks.

“In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 trial that evaluated 79 confirmed cases of Covid-19, SaNOtize’s early treatment for Covid-19 significantly reduced the level of SARS-CoV-2, including in patients with high viral loads,” an official said.

“The average viral log reduction in the first 24 hours was 1.362, which corresponds to a decline of about 95 percent. Within 72 hours, the viral load dropped by more than 99 percent. It has been tested in healthy volunteers and patients as part of UK and Canada clinical trials.”

The majority of these patients had been infected with the UK variant, which is considered a variant of concern. There were no adverse health events recorded in the UK trial or over 7,000 self-administered treatments in earlier Canadian clinical trials.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Amrita Das and Pallavi Mehra

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