The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) has isolated a COVID-19 antibody, according to a statement by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett.
Bennet visited the IIBR lab in Nes Tziona on Monday and spoke to the research team about the “antibody that attacks the virus in a monoclonal way and can neutralize it within the bodies of those ill,” a statement from the Defense Ministry said.
The IIRB said that the antibody will not be used for a vaccine but rather a drug treatment for those who already have contracted COVID-19, adding that their research team is the first in the world to isolate an antibody capable of attacking the coronavirus in a precise way and destroying it. The antibody has another factor important for a virus treatment: it doesn’t contain other proteins that can cause complications for patients.
The antibody’s development phase has been completed and IIBR is currently patenting it “and in the next stage, researchers will approach international companies to produce the antibody on a commercial scale.”
However, IIBR researchers warn that it will take months before the breakthrough will translate into actual drug treatment. “This is an important milestone, but afterward come complicated tests and a process of getting regulatory approval,” IIBR stated. “Per an assessment by the institute’s scientists, this technological breakthrough is poised to shorten the process, which will go on for several months.”
“I am proud of the institute staff for this terrific breakthrough,” said Bennett. “Their creativity and the Jewish mind brought about this amazing achievement.”
Israel isolates coronavirus antibody in 'significant breakthrough': minister | Article [AMP] | Reuters. Israel is at the forefront of the medical and scientific effort to combat #COVIDー19 . I’m proud of our researchers !🇮🇱 #StayHomeSaveLives https://t.co/Q5BpN9T0JK
— Emmanuel Nahshon (@EmmanuelNahshon) May 5, 2020
IIBR, which is run by the Defense Ministry and operates under the Prime Minister’s Office, has not yet named the antibody.
Another Israeli research team, MigVax, affiliated with the MIGAL Galilee Research Institute, has announced it is completing the first development phase of a coronavirus vaccine.
The team raised $12 million on OurCrowd last week to fund the continued development of the vaccine through the production stage.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)