A new in vitro study shows the ability of ColdGuardTM to deactivate SARS-CoV-2, the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic

ABEX Pharmaceutica has announced that preliminary results of an in vitro study on ColdGuard™ demonstrates that it deactivates SARS-CoV-2 by 98.3% in just 20 minutes,[1] and can offer a protective barrier against the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The preliminary results of the in vitro study conducted by an independent laboratory in the USA were announced on Monday 20 July 2020 by Enzymatica AB, the Swedish manufacturer of ColdZyme®, which is distributed and marketed in South Africa as ColdGuard™ under an exclusive license arrangement with ABEX Pharmaceutica (Pty) Ltd.

ColdGuard™ is a patent-protected oral spray formulated from glycerol and the marine enzyme, cod trypsin. The spray forms a protective barrier on the mucous membrane of the mouth and throat, and has been shown in previous studies to deactivate the majority of viruses that cause the common cold.[2]

ColdGuard™ is a medical device that protects against the common cold.  It is used to reduce the probability of catching a common cold, help shorten the duration of a common cold, alleviate cold symptoms and soothes a sore throat.

As yet there is no known cure or effective preventive therapy for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is the cause of COVID-19. Director of ABEX Pharmaceutica, Ed Hallam, confirmed that the goal of this latest study was to determine the ability of ColdGuard™ to deactivate specifically the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a virucidal efficacy suspension test conducted using ColdGuard™ against SARS-CoV-2, ColdGuard™ deactivated the virus by 98.3% (1.76 log10) in 20 minutes. Furthermore, no cytotoxicity was detected for ColdGuard™ at any dilution tested.

The results indicate that ColdGuard™ can offer a protective barrier against harmful viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 by local virus deactivation in the oral cavity. SARS-CoV-2 actively replicates in the throat and also shows high viral shedding at a time of mild symptoms. Therefore, ColdGuard™ sprayed onto the mouth and throat could lower the risk of infection and decrease the viral load locally. Lowered viral load may decrease viral shedding and thus minimise the spread of COVID-19.

Chief Operating Officer of Enzymatica AB, Claus Egstrand, said: “Even if the current in vitro results cannot be directly translated into clinical efficacy, it is very interesting that ColdZyme® is able to effectively deactivate SARS-CoV-2 in vitro conditions, since it constitutes a proof-of-principle that can be taken further into clinical studies.  Thus, the results indicate that ColdZyme® can offer a protective barrier against SARS-CoV-2.”

The study was conducted by the US company Microbac Laboratories Inc – an independent, accredited, and certified laboratory.

The in vitro study was based on a standardised and validated methodology, the ASTM International test method designated E1052 “Standard Test Method to Assess the Activity of Microbicides against Viruses in Suspension”.

Previous in vitro results with the same method showed that ColdGuard™ is effective against another coronavirus, HCoV-229E, one of the causes of the common cold. This virus belongs to a different subgroup of the corona family from SARS-CoV-2, and the aggregated results indicate that ColdGuard™ can be effective against a variety of coronaviruses.

How ColdGuard™ works

ColdGuard™ is suitable for use by adults and children from the age of 4 years.  It is available at leading pharmacies and retailers with a recommended retail price of under R200 (20 ml) and R100 (7 ml), as well as online at www.abexpharm.com/shop.


About ABEX Pharmaceutica

ABEX Pharmaceutica (Pty) Ltd is an international pharmaceutical company based in South Africa and involved in the development, manufacturing, registration and commercialisation of prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Founded in 2006, ABEX is a privately-owned family business with headquarters in Port Elizabeth, a sales and technical office in Pretoria (Tshwane) and affiliate offices in Shanghai, Sydney and London.

For more information: www.abexpharm.com



[1] https://www.enzymatica.se/en/media/press-releases/2020/a-new-in-vitro-study-shows-the-ability-of-coldzyme-to-deactivate-sars-cov-2-the-cause-of-the-covid-19-pandemic/.

[2] M Clarsund, Fornbacke M, Uller L, et al. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Clinical Study on ColdZyme® Mouth Spray against Rhinovirus-Induced Common Cold. Open Journal of Respiratory Diseases. 2017;7:125-135.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the strain of coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the respiratory illness responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Colloquially known as simply the coronavirus, it was previously referred to by its provisional name, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and has also been called human coronavirus 2019 (HCoV-19 or hCoV-19).

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