Albany Medical Center and RPI Scientists Team to Study Potential Nasal Spray for Covid-19

In the latest collaboration between Albany Medical College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, scientists from both institutions are working to develop a potential nasal spray that could be used to combat Covid-19 and other respiratory infections.

Led by Jonathan Dordick, PhD, institute professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer, the researchers are attempting to incorporate pentosan polysulfate (PPS), a medication currently approved to treat bladder pain, into a nasal spray format.

In early tests, PPS has shown a strong ability to neutralize pseudo coronaviruses. The Albany Medical Center team will evaluate PPS’ effect on the real SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

“The beauty of this kind of research is that it’s finding generalized approaches that could be applied to whatever new pandemic we’re facing. Once we’re done with Covid, there’ll be another pandemic, there always is,” Dennis Metzger, PhD, distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Immunology and Microbial Disease (IMD) at Albany Medical Center, recently told the Times Union.

Following Dr. Metzger’s retirement earlier this month, IMD instructor Amit Singh, PhD has taken over as Albany Medical Center’s lead investigator, with Dr. Metzger serving as a consultant.

Pulmonologist Ariel Jaitovich, MD, associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology who has expertise in critical care medicine and translational research, will also serve as a consultant, should the project progress to clinical trials in humans.

The study is supported by a $500,000 grant from the New York State Biodefense Commercialization Fund.