Pharmaceuticals provider Starpharma said its coronavirus nasal spray should be available sooner than first anticipated, after regulatory progress.
The company on Thursday said it had completed more than 90 per cent of the paperwork for European Union approval of the spray, and is on track to gain approval and make the product available in Europe in the first quarter of next year.
European approval would help efforts to have the product approved for other countries, including Australia, soon after.
Investors liked the news and pushed Starpharma’s share price higher by more than 13 per cent.
The spray, called Viraleze, does not prevent infection alone but is designed to be used with other measures such as masks.
The spray contains an antiviral drug already used in many other products.
The spray can also help prevent the flu, Starpharma said.
Chief executive Jackie Fairley said the spray would remain important after vaccines were distributed.
“Even after a vaccine becomes widely available, social distancing, PPE (personal protective equipment) and other measures will continue to be important,” she said.
The United Kingdom became first to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine this week, but continues to lose many lives to the illness.
Starpharma in April reported that the main agent in the spray made a significant impact against COVID-19.
A spokesman for the company declined to say where the product would be manufactured.
Shares rose as high as $1.53 early, then eased to be 13.03 per cent higher to $1.47 at 1543 AEDT.
Starpharma has a record price of $1.95.