It is estimated that overall yearly medical expenses for treating the common cold and influenza (flu) in the US are nearly $40 billion and $87 billion, respectively. The over-the-counter market totals $8 billion, while sales of flu vaccines earn upwards of $3 billion, and global sales of the antiviral medication oseltamivir peak at over $3 billion. At the same time, the efficacy of oseltamivir has diminished due to the emergence of resistant viral strains. Overall, 41 million prescriptions are written for colds each year at a cost of $1.1 billion, with more than one-third of patients prescribed an antibiotic despite the lack of antiviral effect of antibiotics.
Viruses mutate faster than bacteria and thus currently approved antivirals are only effective for a limited time before resistance inhibits their efficacy.
In 2011, SaNOtize researcher,s under a US DARPA grant conducted a study to determine if NO is an effective treatment for the flu and other respiratory viruses. The study demonstrated the wide antiviral effect of gaseous NO (gNO) using an in-vitro model to examine the time dependency of NO treatment on 14 viruses, representing six of the seven Baltimore classifications. In 2013, the team published a study demonstrating that NO reduces influenza infectivity in vitro. Results showed a complete inhibition of infectivity when virions were exposed to gNO prior to infection in all three study strains. Post-infection exposure resulted in up to 90% inhibition.
In-vitro studies indicate that NORSTM showing fast eradication of high concentration of bovine respiratory viruses, influenza viruses and coronaviruses. NORS1002 tretament may be effectively delivered as a nasal spray to prevent the common cold and flu.