Icelandic cod enzyme product shows promise in Covid-19 fight

Ásgeir Invarsson

mbl.is

Preliminary tests have shown that Icelandic mouth spray PreCold will deactivate about 98.3% of the virus that causes Covid-19. The spray has been available in Iceland for five years and is intended to be used when people feel the first symptoms of a cold. The spray creates a protective film in the pharynx where the viruses that cause the common cold tend to be localized and begin to replicate. The protective film, using enzymes extracted from cod, weakens viruses so they have a harder time replicating and making their host sick.

The use of cod enzymes in health products is the result of almost four decades of research that started with the goal to find new uses for byproducts of cod processing. That research lead to the founding of biotechnology company Zymetech which in 19999 marketed its first product; the skin cream Penzim that proved useful in improving the condition of dry and delicate skin.

In 2016 Zymetech merged with Swedish research company Enzymatica whose stock is traded on the Swedish stock market. Enzymatica sells the PreCold antiviral spray under the brand name ColdZyme.

The effectiveness of the spray against SARS-CoV-2 was tested by Microbac Laboratories in the US and the favourable results caused Enzymatica’s stock price to jump by 67%.

Although the results are promising they only reveal that the product proved effective when tested in a laboratory setting, and nothing is known about how useful the spray might be in preventing or minimizing Covid-19 symptoms in people, reports Mbl.is.

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