Israeli institute develops coronavirus antibody: Minister

Henrietta Strickland
May 6, 2020

Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has said that scientists at the country's main biological research institute have made a "significant breakthrough" in developing an antibody to the novel coronavirus, as the researchers wrapped up the development phase and moved to patent and mass produce the potential treatment.

The "monoclonal neutralising antibody" developed at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) "can neutralise it (the disease-causing coronavirus) inside carriers' bodies", Defence Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.

Defense biology research institute says it developed an antibody to COVID-19 that attacks the virus in infected patients.

About 100 analysis teams world wide are pursuing vaccines, with nearly a dozen in early phases of human trials or poised to begin.

"Everyone is working on similar and even more significant things, so this celebration is simply a joke", he said.

"Based on comprehensive scientific publications from around the globe, it appears that the IIBR is the first institution to achieve a scientific breakthrough that meets all three of the aforementioned parameters simultaneously", the ministry said on Tuesday.

These parameters, said the Institute, were the fact that the antibody was new and refined, with a low proportion of other proteins that could endanger the patient; that the antibody had been shown to neutralize the coronavirus; and that the antibody was specifically tested against the coronavirus.

Israeli scientists at the Migal Galilee Research Institute are developing a vaccine for COVID-19. Last week, it secured a United States dollars 12 million investment from OurCrowd to accelerate the path to clinical trials.

The IIBR has been at the forefront of Israeli efforts to find a treatment and vaccine for the deadly virus.

As per reports, the company stated that it would donate around 1.5 million doses for free which would mean about 140,000 treatment courses for a treatment duration of 10 days.

RedHill BioPharma's investigational drug opaganib was used to treat patients with COVID-19 in Israel and preliminary findings have demonstrated clinical improvement. It has now been diverted to treat coronavirus where it is showing good results.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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