The University of Navarra Clinic (CUN) is working on developing a study in which a group of one hundred patients are going to undergo a nasal photodisinfection treatment to destroy the virus lodged in the nose and thus prevent it from infecting healthy people.
With this method the goal is to destroy the reservoir of COVID-19 in the nostrils, where the replication of the virus is more active in the first days. “If we achieve this, we hope that the virus is not transmitted and that the patient ceases to be a transmitting agent of the infection to other people in the short term after treatment,” the institution has indicated.
The trial tests a device from Canadian company Ondine Biomedical Inc. in patients who have tested positive in a PCR test and that they have not required hospital admission.
A painless process used for more than 10 years
As reported by Efe, the technology of photodisinfection using photodynamic therapy is a painless process that has been used for over 10 years, primarily in Canada, as a mechanism to prevent infections of the surgical wound by multi-resistant bacteria that colonize the nasal passages.
During the first wave of the pandemic, teams from the Gene Therapy and Molecular Therapies programs of the Cima Universidad de Navarra already demonstrated the efficacy of photodynamic therapy for in vitro destruction of SARS-CoV2.
The CUN Occupational Medicine specialist and co-investigator of the trial, Alejandro Fernández-Montero, has detailed that, if the virus reservoir is eliminated, this treatment could make it possible to shorten the duration of confinements with SARS-CoV-2 infection, “generating a positive impact on the population, companies and the economy.”
“The hospital environment could benefit doubly”
“In addition, the hospital environment could benefit doubly, reducing the risk of contagion from the sick to healthcare personnel, and shortening the loss of health professionals or caregivers of dependents, which in pandemic situations are essential “, stressed Fernández-Montero.
Another advantage of a physical destruction approach to the virus is that it would a perfect complement to current preventive and therapeutic measuresApart from the fact that the virus could not develop any resistance to the treatment.
“NEWS We are the first and only hospital in the world to carry out a study in which a group of patients will undergo a nasal photo-disinfection treatment to destroy the virus lodged in the nose and prevent them from infecting healthy people
– University of Navarra Clinic (@ClinicaNavarra) January 4, 2022
It’s about a randomized controlled trial, whose participants are being recruited among people treated for coronavirus contagion at the Pamplona headquarters of the University of Navarra Clinic, who receive three photo-disinfection sessions and the evolution of the viral load and the disease is checked in them for two weeks.
In accordance with the usual practice of clinical trials and to confirm the efficacy of the treatment, half of the participants are receiving photodynamic treatment, and the other half will receive a control intervention.