A university is calling for nearly 500 volunteers from South Wales to be part of vital research into whether an over-the-counter nasal spray could help protect against Covid-19.
Scientists at Swansea University are carrying out human clinical trials to investigate whether Carragelose, which contains a form of seaweed, could prevent or reduce the severity of symptoms of Covid-19.
They want to hear from key workers, such as teachers, police or local authority staff or anyone else who is still interacting with members outside their household for work, study or volunteering.
To be considered you must not have previously tested positive for Covid-19 and must not have received a vaccination.
This trial, known as ICE-COVID, is being carried out by Swansea Trials Unit, Swansea University and the Joint Clinical Research Facility at Swansea Bay University Health Board.
Dr Zita Jessop, who is leading the research, said: “We have already recruited frontline NHS staff and are now opening this study to key workers. This is a chance to help with potentially ground-breaking research on preventing Covid-19 infection.
“Previous studies highlighted the effectiveness of iota-carrageenan-based nasal sprays against coronaviruses, indicating promise against SARS-Cov-2.
“If the results of this randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial are positive as we expect, this has the potential to add an extra prevention strategy in the fight against Covid-19.”
Carragelose acts as a barrier in the nose by forming a gel to trap cold and flu virus particles as they enter the body, therefore reducing the likelihood of infection or reducing the amount of virus entering the body and therefore reducing the severity of symptoms.
Carragelose, a patented version of iota-carrageenan, has been clinically proven to help shorten the duration and severity of cold and flu-like symptoms.
A new laboratory study results suggest that Carragelose could also reduce the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19.
In this trial, the spray will be administered to each nostril and throat three times per day. Participants will either be given the spray or a placebo.
Professor Keith Lloyd, Head of Swansea University Medical School. “Swansea University is committed to helping find new solutions which together with public health measures will help us beat Covid-19,”
Anyone who would like to take part should email their name and contact telephone number to Clinical.Research@wales.nhs.uk