Vaccines have been a useful tool to control the COVID-19 pandemic, but have limitations that other complementary approaches such as topical antivirals can address. Azelastine, a widely used anti-histamine, was previously identified as an antiviral drug by CEBINA based on in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses, such as respiratory syncytial (RSV) and influenza viruses.
The recently published peer-reviewed article describes the final results of the Phase 2 clinical study CARVIN conducted in Germany that tested azelastine nasal spray in SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. The study, jointly funded by CEBINA and URSAPHARM Arzneimittel, was a proof of concept efficacy trial, randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled, involving 90 SARS-CoV-2 positive volunteers who received either placebo or azelastine nasal spray for a period of 11 days. Treatment with azelastine nasal sprays resulted in a greater decrease in mean viral load compared to that measured in the placebo group at all the timepoints after initiation of treatment, without adverse health events.