Two years into the ghastly pandemic and several vaccinations later, the world is heaving a momentary sigh of relief. Hopefully, the worst is over. But it would be naïve to presume SARS-CoV-2 (Covid) has left us for good. ‘The Forever Virus’ is a euphemism that is being used increasingly to describe mankind’s unending cycle with immune-threatening viruses. The ongoing struggle between our immune systems and mutating viruses is not a recent phenomenon. Since time immemorial, endemics and pandemics have come and gone, mutating along the way. Take influenza for example, which has been around for over a century. It mutates each year and causes diseases that differ in severity depending on the mutation and its target population.
How does it work
Darpan Roy ChowdhuryAnupam Dokeniya
To our dread, Covid makes similar promises. An enveloped virus-like influenza, many have contended that one fine day in the near future, it will cease to exist. But keeping in mind the larger consensus of virologists and epidemiologists, it is here to stay. Albeit more manageable as compared to when it first invaded the world, Covid is expected to constantly mutate with the passage of time and increase in severity during certain seasonal changes. Are vaccines the final answer? The existing vaccines and booster shots are suspected to have major long term side effects, and urgently call for the need to come up with newer, more advanced viruses to counter the virus’ mutations.
Call it paranoia or cynicism, such are the facts until now. Amidst this existential dystopia, optimism stems not from denial, but from inventive measures taken up by some of the brightest minds amongst us. As a wise person once said, necessity is the mother of all invention, mankind’s dire necessity to triumph over viruses has led to Erasavir—a revelatory prototype that might just add a trump card in our favour.
Mayurbhanj’s Akshita M Bhanjdeo brings us to a highly enlightening conversation with the duo behind Erasavir, a novel pharmaceutical conception that seeks to change the post-pandemic world. Erasavir is a product of Palani LLC, USA in collaboration with Strassenburg Pharmaceuticals, India. As a strategic commutations executive at Erasavir, Akshita introduced me to a trailblazing formula that is gearing up to take preventive care against enveloped viruses such as Covid to a different level altogether.
After an interview with Erasavir co-founder Anupam Dokeniya and Darpan Roy Chowdhury, lead business developer at Strassenburg Pharmaceuticals, here’s the story of Erasavir.
WHAT IS ERASAVIR?
Erasavir, a nasal and oral spray is the first of its kind to herald the novel Hygiene 2.0 approach that kills viral particles in the only two routes by which the virus enters a human body, namely, the nasal and oral passages.
With effective lipid dissolving agents (LDA’s), Erssavir’s amphipathic fatty acid molecules also have distinct hydrophilic and lipophilic ends to them. Anything that dissolves oily substances is an LDA, such as a soap. Enveloped viruses like Covid bear an outer lipid membrane that is oily. When that lipid membrane is broken or dissolved in aqueous mediums such as water running from a tap or the saliva and mucus in our oral and nasal passages, the virus is no longer viable and thus, can cause no harm. In other words, LDA’s are able to effectively dissolve the lipid membranes due to their amphipathic properties. Once this outer lipid layer of the virus disintegrates, the RNA of the virus rapidly disintegrates as well, since the protective envelope is breached. The end result of this disintegration is a dead and ineffective virus cell.
IS IT SAFE?
As per Dokeniya and Chowdhury Erasavir is safe to use multiple times daily for lifelong use. They report that all the ingredients involved in Erasavir’s production have been proven safe and categorised as GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) by the US FDA. They also have Prof. R.B.N. Prasad, a leading authority on lipids as a safety advisor for Erasavir. When it comes to Erasavir’s usage by younger age groups, the duo declares that although no adverse effects have been detected so far, paediatric health calls for a separate set of desirable characteristics. They are in dialogue with paediatricians to better understand these demands and will be understanding R&D to customise Erasavir for optimising children’s health as well. Erasavir has also shown no drug interactions or allergen triggers thus far.
“We don’t see and have not found any long term side efffects of any of the ingredients in Erasavir, especially in the quantities in which they are used. We will be doing pharmacovigilance studies as well as continually improving the product and expanding the product lines. The nasal mucosa is a very sensitive area and varies from person to person. We are looking to use our customer feedback to make sure that everybody has a great experience with the product. After all, we want Erasavir to be a daily lifestyle product like toothpaste and make it as comfortable as that”, the duo adds.
Directions for Use:
Shake both bottles well before use. Use the products twice daily as a hygiene habit. If you fear having been exposed to the virus, you may increase it to 3-4 times a day.
• Blow your nose slightly and pump the spray (maybe outside a window) to see that a mist is being released
• Press down on one nostril and spray just outside the tip of the other (don’t put the nozzle into your nose), pointing away from the centre of your nose (towards the outside)
• Breathe normally through the mouth a couple of times (Do not sniff or inhale deeply)
• Repeat the process in the other nostril
• After a few minutes, you may blow out your nose to clear out any residual congestion
• Pump the spray a couple of times to see that a mist is being released
• Spray twice into your mouth and spread it around with your tongue.
• Try to cover as much area inside the mouth as possible
WHAT SETS IT APART
• Mastering a highly complex and effective molecule
• Quality product
• Trusted and authentic brand
• Upcoming version 2 with major improvements and cutting edge technology
• Patent filed
THE ROAD AHEAD
• Introduction into the Indian market beyond the existing 1,000 pharmacies that currently sell Erasavir
• Increasing offline presence beyond pharmacies to big stores and even kirana stores.
• Presently available on Pharmeasy, 1mg and Santa Sundar.
• Launching soon on Amazon.
• Streamlined e-commerce functionality
• Logistics and national roll-out advised by Hari Menon (CEO, Big Basket)
• Ongoing engagement with Docplexus, a platform of 4,00,000 + doctors for the creation of educational materials for the medical and scientific community.
• Active Zoom video sessions with scientists, doctors, journalists, media professionals and other influential decision-makers in the pipeline.
• Fundraising apart from media and government endorsement for marketing, educational initiatives and brand awareness.
• Work with non-profits and governments to reach out to as many people as possible.
“Erasavir will be reaching out to customers in all geographies. Erasavir would play an important role and will become an indispensable additional tool as humanity learns to live alongside the virus and minimise the interruptions caused by the virus and its mutations”, Dokeniya and Chowdhury conclude.