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Clinical trial studying at-home nasal spray to prevent COVID-19

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 5:41 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2021 at 6:22 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Extra help is pouring into local hospitals this week to help keep up with the COVID-19 surge. More than 100 healthcare workers are set to arrive Wednesday, August 4 and will assist BRG Mid-City staff to care for patients.

Researchers at Baton Rouge General are studying whether a new at-home nasal spray can prevent COVID-19. As part of a Phase 2 clinical trial, Rhinologist Dr. Henry Barham and his team are looking for participants between the ages of 18 and 65 who have not had the virus.

“Any clinical trial, you’re obviously also studying the safety of it, and so there haven’t been any side effects that we have seen, and we’ve been monitoring these patients very closely,” said Dr. Barham, a Baton Rouge General Rhinologist.

He said while the COVID-19 vaccines stimulate adaptive or “memory” immunity by causing antibodies, the nasal spray studies innate immunity, which acts as the defense system a person is born with and serves as the first line of defense in preventing infection.

“There’s no systemic absorption,” said Barham. “It’s as simple as just a topical spray, but it works a little differently and what we’re looking at is effectiveness at preventing infection with COVID as opposed to really some of the data behind the vaccines is effectiveness at preventing severe illness and so it’s really a different kind of mechanism.”

Suppose a person meets the criteria and is eligible to participate in the study. In that case, it will involve using the self-administered nasal spray and four study-related office visits over six weeks.

For information on the study, call (225) 819-1181 or click here.

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