A new patented nasal spray, called Taffix, has been found in laboratory and human studies to block the Sars-CoV-2 virus (coronavirus) for up to five hours, adding to our armoury of defences against COVID-19. This product in no way replaces the masks and hand-washing.
Nasal cavity is main infection route
Research published this year in Nature Infection and conducted by scientists in Cambridge has identified specific cells inside the nose – called goblet cells and cilia cells – as likely coronavirus entry points. In people with COVID-19 infection, nasal swabs yielded higher viral loads than throat swabs implicating the nose as the main gateway to infection and transmission of the coronavirus.
The Sars-CoV-2 virus is known to enter the nasal cavity in air droplets produced when infected people cough, sneeze or speak. By locking onto cell receptors using its spike protein, the virus gains access to nasal cells where it rapidly multiplies. Cells inside the nose have more of these receptors than other cells in the body, making them more susceptible to invasion by the coronavirus.
Barrier approach to self-defence
Taffix is a new non-prescription nasal powder spray that blocks up to 99.99 per cent of respiratory viruses (including SARS-Cov-2) inside the nasal cavity. Acting within 50 seconds, it delivers protection for up to five hours.
The active ingredients in Taffix are hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) and benzalkonium. HPMC, used in several brands of eye drops, forms a gel barrier over the nasal mucosa and lowers its pH to around 3.5 – the pH below which most respiratory viruses are inactivated,,. Benzalkonium is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial.
In Taffix, innovative technology is used to generate a patented thin uniform gel over the nasal mucosa when the product is sprayed into the nostrils. This produces an effective barrier which prevents viruses reaching nasal cells.
• Taffix is legally marketed in Europe as an over-the-counter product, and indicated for use as a protective mechanical barrier against allergens and viruses (e.g. SARS-CoV-2) within the nasal cavity.
• Taffix may be used up to three times a day (whilst in a risky environment) to maintain an effective barrier. Once applied Taffix is effective for five to six hours.
• Taffix is suitable for adults, and children over 12 years. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should consult their doctor before using.