Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said on Monday it has signed an agreement with Canadian biotech firm SaNOtize Research and Development Corp to commercialise its nasal spray for Covid-19 treatment in India and other Asian countries. Under the exclusive long term strategic partnership, Glenmark and SaNOtize will manufacture, market and distribute its Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Nepal, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste and Vietnam, according to a statement by the Indian company.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ chairperson and managing director Glenn Saldanha said the partnership with SaNOtize reflects Glenmark’s focused approach against Covid-19 and that it will help reduce the burden of the pandemic in the region.
“It also marks another valuable in-licensing opportunity for us in our key therapy area of respiratory medicine, as well as the possibility to globally supply the product to SaNOtize and its partners outside of our territory,” Saldanha said in a statement. “Glenmark will ensure timely and widespread access to this effective nasal spray, which we hope will bring much needed relief to patients across the region and the wider world,” he added.
“In joining forces with Glenmark, SaNOtize can accelerate the efforts to have its antiviral nasal spray available as a self-administered, first line of defence against COVID-19 during the current pandemic and to help prevent future outbreaks,” Gilly Regev, CEO and co-founder of SaNOtize, said in the statement.
According to Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, the nasal spray is designed to kill the coronavirus in the upper airways, preventing it from incubating and spreading to the lungs. It is based on nitric oxide (NO) and has a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19.
SaNOtize’s clinical trials showed in March this year that NONS was a safe and effective antiviral treatment to prevent Covid-19 transmission, shorten its course, and reduce the severity of its symptoms. NONS reduced the average viral load by around 95 per cent In the first 24 hours and then by more than 99 per cent within 72 hours. It has been tested in healthy volunteers and patients as part of UK and Canada clinical trials, the company has said.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said in July this year that the company presented a proposal to the subject expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for emergency approval for import and marketing of the nasal spray.
“The committee has recommended a phase III clinical trial to be conducted in Indian patients in the weeks to follow. The phase III clinical trial for NONS is expected to be completed, followed by commercial launch under the brand name FabiSpray in India, by the fourth quarter of the calendar year 2021,” Glenmark Pharmaceuticals added.