It is estimated that the overall expense of cold and flu patients in the US nears $40 billion and $87 billion, respectively. The over the counter (OTC) market stands at $8 billion, while sales of flu vaccines earn upwards of $3 billion, and global sales of Oseltamivir peak at over $3 billion. At the same time, the efficacy of Oseltamivir has diminished due to the emergence of resistant viral strains. 41 million prescriptions are written for cold sufferers each year at a cost of $1.1 billion with more than one third of patients receiving an antibiotic prescription despite the lack of antiviral effect of antibiotics.
Viruses mutate faster than bacteria, so currently approved antivirals are only effective for a limited time before resistance inhibits their efficacy.
In 2011, the SaNOtize team worked under a US DARPA Grant to determine if NO would be an effective treatment for influenza and other respiratory viruses. This study successfully demonstrated the wide antiviral effect of NO using an in-vitro model to examine the time dependency of NO treatment on 14 viruses, representing 6 out of the 7 Baltimore Classifications. The SaNOtize team went on to publish a 2013 study indicating that NO reduces influenza infectivity in vitro. Results identified that a complete inhibition of infectivity was achieved when virions were exposed to gNO prior to infection in all three study strains. Post-infection exposure was shown to result in inhibition of up to 90%
Our in-vitro studies indicate that NORSTM may be effectively delivered as nasal spray to prevent the common cold and flu.