Ministry of Science bets on anti-Covid spray for nibio-based hands

A startup from Minas Gerais has developed a niobium-based anti-Covid spray that, according to the creators, can protect hands for up to 19 hours against the new coronavirus.

A part of the financing for the project was financed with resources from Finep (Financier of Studies and Projects), a public company linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. About R$ 500 thousand were received through a specific notice of combat Covid-19.

Second Luiz Carlos Oliveira, a partner at Nanonib and professor in the Chemistry department at UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais), the spray, called Innib 41, was produced from a molecule developed before pandemic. It has action against viruses and also 18 types of resistant bacteria, he says.

The product has already been submitted for evaluation by Anvisa (Agency National Health Surveillance) and is still awaiting an opinion. In the process, at least four meetings were held with the regulatory body.

The start of production should only occur after the agency’s response, according to the researchers. For this stage, they count on other investors, from the resources of the ministry beyond.

Before being submitted to Anvisa, the spray underwent research in the laboratory and was tested in 300 people. Oliveira explains that the spray is not toxic due to the fact that it uses a low concentration of niobium, which is the 19 element of the periodic table.

“We submitted the product to a company specialized in testing toxicity in new molecules with internationally recognized methodology. All safety and efficacy studies were carried out and showed that the product is non-toxic and can also be used in children”, says the researcher.

According to Oliveira, the project was designed for Covid to mainly help people who are unable to wash their hands very often, such as supermarket cashiers and application drivers.

Removal, in case according to the scientist.

Nanonib is a startup created within UFMG by professors Oliveira, Jadson Belchior and Cinthia de Castro. The company specializes in nibio-based products.

Those responsible began working with this ore because Brazil is the largest producer and exporter of nibio in the world. “We saw that this would be an opportunity to find different applications for Nibian,” says Oliveira.

President Jair Bolsonaro (non-party) is a Nibian enthusiast. He cited the chemical element before and during the election campaign of 2018. Already elected, he also didn’t let it be forgotten.

On a visit to Japan in 2019, for example, he said that Brazil makes poor use of metal, which can be used in gas pipelines, turbines and even in space rockets and nuclear reactors.

Last week, Bolsonaro participated in the opening of the 1st Nibio National Fair, in Campinas (SP), alongside minister Marcos Pontes ( Science). On the occasion, the Chief Executive highlighted the importance of the mineral for the country.

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