French-made Covid nasal spray suspended due to lack of safety data

A French company has been ordered to halt sales and recall a nasal spray that it claimed eliminated Covid after the national health regulator said there was no data demonstrating its performance or safety.

French-made Covid nasal spray suspended due to lack of safety data
Pharma & Beauty has been ordered to halt sales of the nasal spray. Photo: AFP

The French company Pharma & Beauty had announced that its spray would be available for purchase in pharmacies from March 1st. The company claimed its “Spray Nasal COV-Defense”, also called “spray nasal Biokami”, which is made from ionized water, gets rid of about 99 percent of the viral load in 30 seconds.

But the national medicines agency, the Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament (ANSM), said it had not received any clinical validation demonstrating the performance and safety of the spray – a basic requirement for marketing the product.

“In the absence of such requirements and pending further information, the marketing, distribution, advertising and use of the spray is suspended until they are brought into compliance with the regulations,” the agency said in a statement.

Scientists warn that above all, a spray like this would at best serve as an extra barrier for the virus, much like masks, but nothing more.

“It might work in the moment you use it, but it won’t have a residual effect,” professor Bernard La Scola of IHU Méditerranée hospital told France Info.

The company has also been ordered to recall any sprays that may have already been distributed, and inform all people who may have obtained it.

Member comments

  1. Of course the ANSM is recalling the Biokami nasal spray, saying that it doesn’t work,. It’s obvious. They want all people to be “vaccinated” instead.

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New Covid wave in autumn ‘virtually certain’ say French experts

The head of the government's new health advisory body says that a surge of Covid cases when the French head back to work after the summer break is virtually certain.

New Covid wave in autumn 'virtually certain' say French experts

Immunologist Brigitte Autran, president of new government health advisory body the Comité de veille et d’anticipation des risques sanitaires (Committee to monitor and anticipate health risks) which has replaced the Conseil scientifique, told Le Parisien that “the Covid epidemic is not behind us” and said that the French would have to get used to “living with” the virus.

The Covidtracker website currently shows that the virus is in decline across France, with the R-rate currently at 0.7 – any figure lower than one indicates that the number of infections is falling.

Autran, whose appointment as head of the new body was confirmed on Wednesday, said that the most likely scenario was for a “new epidemic peak in the autumn”, when people return to work after the summer holidays.

“Will it be due to a new variant or the return of cold weather?” she said. “We are not soothsayers, but it is almost certain that there will be a wave.”

“Today, we must go towards living with it,” she added, reintroducing the French to an expression previously used by President Emmanuel Macron and several ministers.

“This does not mean accepting the deaths or the severity of the disease,” she went on, pointing to the fact that health authorities in France still have “levers to activate” to fight the virus. 

Despite the fact that nearly 80 percent (79.6 percent) of people over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated against the virus, she said that, “unfortunately there are still too many people who have not been vaccinated or revaccinated.”

And she said the new body would work with the government to improve the public’s access to drugs, such as Paxlovid, and vaccines.

Vaccination is still open to anyone who has not yet had their shots, while a second booster shot is on offer to certain groups including over 60s, pregnant women, those with health conditions or people who are in close contact with vulnerable people.

EXPLAINED Who qualifies for a second Covid vaccine booster shot in France?

The French government in August voted to end to State of Emergency that allowed it to impose measures like travel bans and lockdowns, although further restrictions could be put in place if cases rise again and parliament agrees.