SaNOtize bags $24M to fund phase 3 trial of COVID-19 nasal spray

SaNOtize has raised a $24 million series B round, giving it the cash to fund its ongoing phase 3 COVID-19 prevention trial and other research into its nitric oxide nasal spray (NONS).  

The Vancouver-based company set up shop in 2017 to unlock the antimicrobial properties of nitric oxide. Using its nitric oxide releasing solution platform, SaNOtize sought to enable the use of the molecule in sprays, baths, lavages, gels and creams. Interest in the platform went up a gear in 2020 when COVID-19 created a pressing need for interventions capable of treating and preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection.

While drugs and vaccines have blunted the impact of COVID-19, SaNOtize sees a continued need for new tools for managing the coronavirus—and has persuaded investors to bankroll its pursuit of the perceived opportunity. Horizons Ventures and OurCrowd co-led the series B round.

“We are thrilled to embark on these new partnerships, as they empower SaNOtize to accelerate its research program in various therapeutic fields and expand our phase 3 NONS COVID-19 trial to additional countries,” SaNOtize CEO Gilly Regev, Ph.D., said in a statement. “Our clinical and observational studies found NONS to be safe and effective at both treating and preventing COVID-19, even amid delta and omicron surges.”

SaNOtize is enrolling participants in Canada and Sri Lanka in a phase 3 trial that will evaluate the ability of NONS to prevent COVID-19 in individuals at risk of infection. The participants will self-administer a nasal spray containing either nitric oxide or placebo up to three times a day for 28 days. 

The trial builds on an observational study that linked the use of NONS after a high-risk close contact exposure to COVID-19 to a 75% reduction in the likelihood of infection. SaNOtize has also generated data on the ability of the nasal spray to reduce viral burden in high-risk COVID-19 patients.