Researchers from Pécs and Austria have identified an active agent – currently found in nasal spray for allergies – that can possibly be used as a medication in the treatment of the coronavirus infection, said Ferenc Jakab, Head of the Virology Research Group at the János Szentágothai Research Center of the University of Pécs.
The researchers emphasize that the active agent is not a vaccine for prevention, but a promising treatment for an existing infection.
Jakab said that although azelastine is currently used as a raw material for a commonly used antihistamine nasal spray, in laboratory conditions it reduced the infection of the virus with exceptionally good efficiency.
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The professor highlighted that although the laboratory results are very promising, experiments should be followed by extensive clinical trials.
According to Jakab, the results are particularly important, as the medication is licensed in Hungary without a prescription, widely available in the form of a nasal spray, and has a direct effect at the initial signs of viral infection.
If the soon-to-be-launched clinical trials prove the effectiveness of the medication, it can be used almost immediately to treat the infection.
Featured photo by Tibor Rosta/MTI