Claritas Pharmaceuticals Inc is developing a nitric oxide-releasing compound, R-107, for the treatment of vaccine-resistant COVID-19, and other viral infections.

Unlike nitric oxide gas administered as an inhalation therapy, R-107 is a liquid that may be readily administered either orally in a capsule, nasally though use of a nasal spray, or by a single intramuscular or subcutaneous injection, according to the company. As a result, R-107 would allow treatment without the need for special delivery equipment or trained respiratory therapists, the company says.

Following administration orally in a capsule, or by nasal spray, or by injection, R-107 enters the bloodstream, where it slowly releases nitric oxide systemically over 24 hours, according to Claritas Pharma. This systemic NO release could potentially allow elimination of virus in all organs and tissues, not only in the lungs, the company says.

“The historical challenge with nitric oxide therapy has been the difficulty of delivering the molecule in an effective and practical manner. Nitric oxide that exists as a gas must be delivered by inhalation therapy requiring use of a CPAP-like device and administration by trained respiratory therapists. For these reasons, use of nitric oxide gas use is expensive, complex, and cumbersome, and therefore its application has been quite limited,” the company said in a press release. “R-107, on the other hand, is a breakthrough compound designed to overcome the limitations of nitric oxide inhalation therapy.”

The therapeutic could also have applications for other RNA-based viruses in addition to SARS-CoV-2, including influenza, SARS, rhinovirus, hepatitis C, hepatitis E, West Nile fever, rabies, and measles.

“Nitric oxide has generally demonstrated the ability to inhibit viral replication of RNA viruses, and there is an extensive body of in vitro and in vivo data demonstrating the ability of nitric oxide to prevent the replication and transmissions of several of these viruses,” said Robert Farrell, President and CEO of Claritas. “Based on these data, we intend to develop our proprietary R-107 technology as a therapy for COVID-19 infection, as well as a therapy for other RNA viruses, including the influenza virus.”