Viraleze contains astodrimer sodium (SPL7013), a virucidal that irreversibly inactivates more than 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2, within one minute


Starpharma, LloydsPharmacy partner for Viraleze. (Credit: Starpharma Holdings Limited.)

Starpharma has reached an agreement with LloydsPharmacy, a part of McKesson Europe, for the sale and distribution of its antiviral nasal spray Viraleze in the UK.

Viraleze has been developed based on previously marketed active and is currently registered for marketing in the UK and Europe.

The antiviral nasal spray contains astodrimer sodium (SPL7013), a virucidal that irreversibly inactivates more than 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 within one minute.

It works by irreversibly blocking the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from binding with the human cells, an interaction that is required for infection.

The antiviral activity of SPL7013 has been validated through research studies conducted by Scripps Research Institute in the US and is capable of tackling multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2.

Under the terms of the agreement with the company, LloydsPharmacy/McKesson will sell the nasal spray online starting from the coming week and in stores from the next month.

LloydsPharmacy e-commerce and category management head John Acland said: “We are excited to have secured exclusive rights to Viraleze for the UK.

“It is a highly innovative product with compelling customer benefits and is well supported by an impressive body of quality science and research.

“We hope Viraleze will bring LloydsPharmacy customers added peace of mind and protection as we enter the next chapter of the pandemic and re-emerge back into work, school and social settings.”

Starpharma said that its Viraleze has various advantages, including virucidal action, rapid onset and ability to inactivate the virus either before or after exposure.

The nasal spray offers a physical barrier to respiratory viruses in the nasal cavity, to protect works against multiple virus types and multiple strains of SARS-CoV-2.

It contains a well-tolerated, previously marketed active which is not absorbed into the bloodstream and facilitates irreversible inactivation of the virus, within one minute.

Furthermore, the nasal spray provides a moisturising and protective barrier, keeping nasal tissue hydrated, and can be stored at room temperature, said the company.

Australia’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) programme, with support from UniQuest, has offered $1m funding for the development of Viraleze.

Starpharma CEO Jackie Fairley said: “We are excited that Viraleze will be available from next week in the second-largest pharmacy chain in the UK.

“The LloydsPharmacy/McKesson team shares Starpharma’s enthusiasm and commitment to bring Viraleze antiviral nasal spray to UK consumers as they emerge from their latest lockdown. LloydsPharmacy represents an ideal partner for this product.

“Viraleze was developed, manufactured and registered by Starpharma, and we are delighted to see it launched in the UK market.”