Could a Drug-free Inhaled Mist Prevent COVID-19?

Featured Health Tech

Despite warnings from the CDC and other health organizations and government officials, the U.S has recently seen a massive spike in COVID-19 cases after states began moving into their re-opening phases.  The message is clear – people simply aren’t capable of taking appropriate measures to curb the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 3 million Americans (confirmed cases).  Just look at how many people are ignoring distancing mandates and are not wearing masks.

There are many solutions already on the market to help with disinfecting both indoor and outdoor environments, as well as for managing distancing and screening.  But even with those measures, it’s apparent the virus continues to spread rapidly.

A Harvard biomedical engineering professor thinks he has a solution that can help.  Dr. David A. Edwards says he has developed a nasal spray that is capable of reducing COVID-19 particles in exhaled air at almost a 100% rate.  In fact, FEND, which has been developed by Dr. Edwards’ startup company Sensory Cloud, can also eliminate virus particles in inhaled air as well, which would make it an effective solution for healthy individuals to protect themselves as well. 

Dr. Edwards and his fellow researchers from MIT, Pulmatrix, and Sensory Cloud have documented how a combination of naturally occurring calcium and sodium salts, found mostly in sea water, improve the barrier function of the mucus lining and increase protection against and disinfecting of bacterial and viral infections.

“With today’s healthcare crisis we believe a nasal cleanser to be the best and fastest approach as a defensive measure against the rapid spread of COVID-19.”

Dr. David A. Edwards, Et Al.

Essentially, the FEND solution is turned into mist form by a mist-maker device called Nimbus.  The drug-free mist is then sprayed in from of the nose and inhaled to clean the airways of particles that are smaller than most masks are able to filter out – like COVID-19 particles.  Each does is expected help eliminate contaminated particles for up to six hours.

While an initial study was conducted on a very small sample size of 10 volunteers (five of whom are older than 65), the results shows that FEND reduces transmitted particles by 99%.  Most of the blocked particles were small enough to have passed through most masks.

“We are very encouraged by these findings and the prospect of providing an additional level of safety for healthcare workers and everyone heading back to work and to school.  The ease and safety with which FEND can be administered nasally suggests a practical pathway to significantly clean airborne infection from interior air environments where airborne pathogens can accumulate.”

Dr. David A. Edwards

Dr. Edwards is clear, however, that he doesn’t see FEND as a single solution to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but that it can complement masks and other protocols that are already in place.  By helping infected people – including asymptomatic carriers – and healthy people alike, FEND could have a significant impact on the spread of the virus.  Since the device never actually touches or enters the mouth or nose, it could theoretically be used to treat workers or customers in nearly any environment.

The initial cost for the Nimbus device and two vials of FEND liquid is $49, with individual refills available at $6 each.  Each vial should provide about 250 doses.