ITC is developing a nasal spray for COVID-19 prevention and has started clinical trials, confirmed the diversified entity on Thursday.

According to sources, the nasal spray was developed by scientists at ITC Life Sciences and Technology Centre (LSTC) in Bengaluru, and the company plans to market it under the Savlon brand once it receives all of the necessary regulatory approvals.

"We can not share more details at the current time as the clinical trials are underway," an ITC spokesperson said.

No further information on - where is the clinical trial being done, from where the commercial production would be done when approved and under what brand the nasal spray would be marketed- is known.

According to sources, the company has received ethics committee approval and is registered with the Clinical Trial Registry India (CTRI) for clinical trials of the nasal spray, which is intended to stop the virus at the point of entry in the nasal cavity.

When used in conjunction with existing hygiene measures recommended by health authorities, the product has the potential to be effective and safe in preventing COVID-19 infection and transmission.

ITC's LSTC has been at the forefront of the company's thrust for science-driven product innovation to support and expand its diverse product portfolio.

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During the pandemic, the company's R&D teams were instrumental in developing a variety of innovative health and hygiene products that were commercially available under the Savlon brand.

Meanwhile, many vaccine manufacturers are trying on the next generation of coronavirus vaccines, which will be pills or nasal sprays rather than shots.

Vaccines delivered via pill or nasal spray could be much easier to administer, especially in areas where distribution is difficult or for people who simply dislike needles.

Currently, Cipla's antiviral nasal spray - Naselin containing 'povidone Iodine' that protects against coronavirus and respiratory tract infections is available in India. The spray works by killing the viruses and bacteria that cause disease in the nose.

The 15 ml spray bottle costs Rs 99 and can be found in 700 Apollo and Medplus pharmacies across Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, as well as on e-commerce sites.

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