Swansea University is looking for volunteers from South Wales to be part of vital research into how an over-the-counter nasal spray could help protect against Covid-19.
Scientists at Swansea University are investigating if Carragelose, which contains a form of seaweed, could prevent the Covid-19 illness or reduce severity of symptoms.
They are expanding the research and now want to hear from either key workers, such as teachers, police or local authority staff or anyone who continues to interact with members outside their household for work, study or volunteering, who would like to be part of this important project.
Dr Zita Jessop, who is leading the research, said: “We have already recruited frontline NHS staff and are now opening this study to key workers who have not previously tested positive for Covid-19 and not yet received their vaccination. This is a chance to help with potentially ground-breaking research on preventing Covid-19 infection.”
Carragelose, a patented version of iota-carrageenan, is already clinically proven to help shorten the duration and severity of cold and flu-like symptoms, and a new in-vitro (test tube) laboratory study results suggest that Carragelose could also reduce the risk of an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19.
This clinical trial, known as ICE-COVID, is being carried out by Swansea Trials Unit, Swansea University and the Joint Clinical Research Facility at Swansea Bay University Health Board. Professor Ron Eccles, cold and flu expert and former director of the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University is co-investigator on the research study and has been working with Chief Investigators at Swansea University, Professor Iain Whitaker, surgical specialty lead for Health & Care Research Wales, and Professor Hayley Hutchings, co-director of the Swansea Trials Unit.
Professor Keith Lloyd, head of Swansea University Medical School said: “Swansea University is committed to helping find new solutions which together with public health measures will help us beat Covid-19.”
Carragelose acts as a barrier in the nose by forming a gel to trap cold and flu virus particles as they enter the body, therefore potentially reducing the likelihood of infection or reducing the amount of virus entering the body and therefore reducing the severity of symptoms.
Anyone who would like to take part should email their name and contact telephone number to Clinical.Research@wales.nhs.uk