Bolsonaro wants to bring Israeli nasal spray to Brazil as Covid-19 treatment

Bolsonaro wants Israeli nasal spray as Covid-19 treatment in Brazil
Vaccination station in Beer Sheva, Israel. Photo: Olga Mukashev/Shutterstock

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced this week that an emergency approval request for an Israeli-made nasal spray will be submitted to the country’s health regulators. Early tests suggest the spray may be effective in treating Covid-19.

The product, known as EXO-CD 24, was originally developed to treat ovarian cancer. Its alleged ability to treat respiratory symptoms linked to Covid-19 stems from early-stage testing at the Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv. Thirty study volunteers with moderate to severe cases of Covid-19 were administered the spray, and Ichilov researchers say that 29 of them were released from the hospital within five days.

While the findings have not been published or peer-reviewed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called EXO-CD 24 a “miracle” treatment against Covid-19.

Mr. Bolsonaro intends to send a Brazilian delegation to Israel to negotiate importing the spray. The government has also shown an interest in taking part in further stages of clinical trials on EXO-CD 24.

The Brazilian president has a track record for championing unproven Covid-19 treatments. He put his weight behind antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — using the same words as his Israeli counterpart by calling them “miracle” treatments.

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