Ann Arbor’s BlueWillow Develops Nasal Antiseptic in Face of COVID-19

BlueWillow Biologics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company in Ann Arbor, is advancing the manufacturing and commercialization of NanoBio Protect, a nasal antiseptic solution that can be used to help reduce germs that could cause infections. The product will be available for over-the-counter purchase by hospitals, businesses, and consumers.
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NanoBio Protect
BlueWillow has developed NanoBio Protect, a nasal antiseptic solution to reduce germs. // Photo courtesy of BlueWillow Biologics

BlueWillow Biologics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company in Ann Arbor, is advancing the manufacturing and commercialization of NanoBio Protect, a nasal antiseptic solution that can be used to help reduce germs that could cause infections. The product will be available for over-the-counter purchase by hospitals, businesses, and consumers.

NanoBio Protect is an alcohol-free solution that has been shown to kill 99.99 percent of germs in lab tests. The product is applied by thoroughly swabbing the skin inside of each nostril and is recommended for use to help reduce germs on the skin that can cause infection. The product is designed to be non-irritating, fragrance-free, and leaves no residue after application. It should be used in conjunction with frequent handwashing and other preventative measures.

“During this difficult time, doctors and nurses who are treating patients need every protective measure possible,” says Dr. Michael Corrado, fellow at the Infectious Disease Society of America and the former vice president of regulatory affairs and vice president of clinical research at Johnson and Johnson. “Even though BlueWillow’s nasal antiseptic hasn’t yet been clinically tested to confirm protection against COVID-19 infection, it has demonstrated both anti-bacterial and anti-viral activity in laboratory tests, making it a potentially important additive measure to hand washing and barrier techniques for health care workers on the front lines.”

BlueWillow’s nanotechnology platform enables long-lasting effectiveness on the skin to disrupt germs residing on the surface. In lab tests, the product’s nano-droplets were shown to persist on the skin for at least four hours. It has also been shown to increase skin hydration as compared to common hand sanitizer products.

“At BlueWillow, we are working very hard to launch NanoBio Protect in an effort to help minimize the burden our health care system is facing,” says Dave Peralta, CEO. “We want to make our nasal antiseptic solution accessible to those at the highest risk of infection – health care workers, social workers, military, government, elderly, the immunocompromised, and people near a significant outbreak. During these challenging times, we’re all working together to do our part. Our nasal antiseptic is unique, easy to apply, and may help reduce the risk of respiratory infection. We’re confident that NanoBio Protect can play a meaningful role in protecting those in need.”

The company is working to manufacture and distribute an initial 1 million units of NanoBio Protect. Each unit provides at least 40 treatments.

The nanotechnology platform is the foundation of the product and was developed by researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where BlueWillow was founded. Under the direction of Susan Ciotti, director of formulations, and Ali Fattom, senior vice president of vaccine research and development, the technology has been advanced significantly in recent years, yielding several therapies in development.

BlueWillow focuses on developing and commercializing topical antiseptic and anti-infective products as well as intranasal vaccines.

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