Could a £6 Boots nasal spray defeat Covid-19? High Street chemist’s flu treatment made with SEAWEED is being tested to see if it can stop coronavirus
- Researchers at Swansea University begin human trials tomorrow on cold remedy
- Ingredient based on seaweed used to treat respiratory ailments in 1800s Ireland
- Boots is the only British company licensed to sell the Austrian-made nasal spray
A Boots nasal spray for colds and flu is being tested to see whether it can stop coronavirus infection – thanks to a special seaweed ingredient.
Researchers at Swansea University begin human trials today following a successful laboratory study of the over-the-counter remedy, which costs £5.99 for 20ml.
They hope Boots Dual Defence Nasal Spray will prevent infection – or reduce the severity of symptoms if people do catch Covid-19.
The key ingredient is based on carrageenan, a red edible seaweed that was used to treat respiratory ailments in 19th century Ireland.
For the Boots spray, it is sourced from Zanzibar and the Philippines.
The Dual Defence formulation is made by the Austrian firm Marinomed, and Boots is the only British company licensed to sell it.
The results of tests on 480 health workers are expected to be published in March.
Researchers hope the drug can be used to tide people over until they are vaccinated.
Lead investigator Dr Zita Jessop said: ‘We wanted to find a way to help protect frontline NHS staff. If the results of this clinical trial are as positive as we expect…it is potentially another weapon in the armoury.’