Thailand is first country to approve manufacturing of the Covid nasal spray
The spray has been developed through the joint efforts of Chulalongkorn University, Silpakorn University, the Health Systems Research Institute (HSRI), the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) and Hibiocy Co Ltd, an affiliate of Roujukiss International PCL or KISS
Worrawan Chaikamnerd, CEO of Hibiocy Co Ltd and KISS, Flt Lt Dr Nimit Prasitdumrong, Honorary Expert of Hibiocy Co Ltd have today joined with the public sector led by Assoc Prof Dr Chanchai Sittipunt, dean of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine and GPO Managing Director Dr Withoon Danwiboon to announce the development and the rollout of an “antibody nasal spray”.
This special event was held at Samyan Mitrtown Hall, with HSRI Managing Director Dr Nopporn Cheanklin kindly presiding over the event.
A great source of national pride
“The Covid-19 situation in many countries including Thailand is now in a ‘stable condition. But it’s imperative that Thailand continues to watch the situation, trends and figures closely, as we adapt to live with the coronavirus,” Dr Nopporn says.
Over the past two years, Thai scientists and researchers from the public and private sectors have worked together to develop a range of protective and diagnostic tools in a bid to curb the spread of the virus and help people protect themselves from infection.
Recently, the two sectors teamed up to develop an antibody-based nasal spray, which serves as the latest shield in offering extra protection against Covid-19.
The breakthrough was transferred to the private sector which carried out clinical research to meet the standards needed for registration with the Thai FDA.
The antibodies that were created to make the spray have been already patented. They have been used to make an antibody-based nasal spray sold under the tradename “Vaill CoviTRAP Anti-CoV Nasal Spray”, making Thailand the first country in the world to approve the commercial manufacturing of the spray.
" The project’s success is a testament to Thailand’s strong commitment to overcoming the pandemic as well as to its efficient work and high-quality health personnel,” Dr Nopporn says.
He notes that the Thai government has worked hard to strengthen the country’s health systems over the years.
“With this optional protective tool, I believe that we will be able to better deal with this unprecedented health crisis more effectively and sustainably in the future.” He says.
A breakthrough in fighting off the coronavirus infection
Dr Chanchai also notes that Thailand still needs to remain vigilant amid profound uncertainties and monitor the situation closely, while local scientists and researchers also need to actively work to provide updates on medical research, the latest advances and challenges for fighting against Covid-19, particularly the long-term effects of coronavirus.
Since the start of the pandemic, Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine has worked with other institutions and faculties to develop tools using medical innovation to assist the Public Health Ministry’s fight against the coronavirus. These include the development of the ChulaCov 19 vaccine, antigen test kits (ATKs) and ventilators.
“ We take great pride in having shared our knowledge with companies in the healthcare industry that put the evidence-based research we’ve carried into use. It’s great to see that such collaboration has led to the development of a product,” Dr Chanchai says.
A team of researchers at the Faculty have worked on developing the spray since the onset of the pandemic two years ago, the team then discovered the antibody used in the prototype and patented it.
He explains the antibody-based nasal spray has been developed through a research project on a monoclonal antibody cocktail obtained from Covid-19 patients who have fully recovered. It has proven capable of inhibiting Covid-19 infections.
Monoclonal antibodies are a powerful tool in clinical research with applications in many fields including biotechnology.
Staying on par with world-class quality standards
Dr Withoon Danwiboon says his organization has supported the Ministry’s work by producing, supplying, reserving and distributing medicines, medical supplies and protective tools for use in the country during the health crisis.
In addition, the organization has worked to promote the local pharmaceutical industry in using medical innovations for the production of quality medicines and tools and supports the research and development of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies.
“We are delighted to be selected as the manufacturer of this “antibody-based nasal spray,” Dr Withoon says, adding that the nasal spray has been registered with and approved by the Thai FDA.
A promising nasal spray
Worrawan says the spray is now available on the market. She notes that the spray can be effective in suppressing coronavirus infections, citing a clinical trial that has shown that the spray can reduce infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 effectively. It can offer about 6 hours of protection with just two sprays per nostril. The antibody-based nasal spray could stop the coronavirus from infecting the body by trapping the virus that enters the nose and neutralizing or weakening it, making it unable to cause an infection inside the body.