Israel announces breakthrough in development of Coronavirus antibody

May 5, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israeli scientists have made a significant breakthrough in the fight on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and have developed a potent antibody that attacks the virus.

Infographic of the Coronavirus. Feb 22, 2020. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett visited the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) in Ness Ziona on Monday, where he was presented with a significant breakthrough in finding an antidote to the Coronavirus.

The researchers have developed an antibody that attacks the virus uniquely and can neutralize it in a patient’s body.

According to the Institute’s researchers, led by IIBR Director-General Professor Shmuel Shapira, the antibody’s development phase is over.

The institute will continue the patent registration process and in the next phase, the researchers will contact international companies who can produce the antibody in commercial quantities.

The antibody’s name has yet to be determined.

Bennett stated he is “proud of the Biological Institute’s people who have made a huge breakthrough. The creativity and Jewish mind have brought this amazing achievement. The entire security system will continue to operate on the frontlines of the battle against the Corona.”

Shapira at the end of March spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the progress in the institute’s research and development efforts regarding a vaccine and antibodies.

Shapira noted that there has been “significant progress” in planning for the vaccine and added that preparations are now being made ahead of a model for the start of experimentation on animals, a crucial stage before trials on humans are carried out.

The news came as the number of deaths worldwide from the virus topped 252,420 out of over 3,646,000 cases in 212 countries.

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