N-Chlorotaurine (NCT) (aka “taurine chloramine”) was discovered as a product of activated human white blood cells (granulocytes and monocytes) by Polish researchers in 1971. Endogenous NCT is formed as a result of the chlorination of amino acids by the myeloperoxidase system (via hypochlorous acid to combat invading pathogens). Comprehensive studies followed, facilitated by the availability of NCT as a pure sodium salt since 1989, and by assessment of its intrinsic chemical properties.
Microbicidal activity of NCT has been demonstrated in vitro for a broad spectrum of pathogens (i.e., bacteria, fungi (yeasts and moulds), viruses and protozoa), and in vivo for bacteria and viruses.
As an active chlorine compound belonging to the class of chloramines, NCT has the typical broad-spectrum microbicidal activity without development of resistance against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria including multi-resistant strains, yeasts and moulds, protozoa, and worm larvae. Broad-spectrum activity was found against adenoviruses, herpes viruses 1 and 2, human immunodeficiency virus, and it was shown in vivo against adeno and herpes viruses in epidemic keratoconjunctivitis up to a phase II study as well as in herpes zoster in a case report, respectively.
Safety and Tolerability
Researchers have completed numerous preclinical trials testing the safety, tolerance and efficacy of NCT as an agent for the treatment of infections. These studies have revealed the applicability of NCT for the therapy of several diseases and confirmed its tissue tolerability. These studies have also demonstrated that the human body has developed tolerance towards NCT and its reducing substrates the essential amino acid taurine and chloride.
In recent years, inhalation of NCT has been investigated and developed in detail. As an endogenous compound, NCT is already present in small amounts at inflammatory sites in the human body including the bronchi. Enhanced bactericidal and fungicidal activity has been found in the presence of lung epithelial cells. Tolerability of repeatedly inhaled NCT has been confirmed in the normal lung and in a streptoccoccal inflammation model each in pigs, and in the normal lung of mice.