Israeli hospital begins trials on drug for Coronavirus

April 8, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Aviv is experimenting with a drug that could help treat Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, one of the first hospitals in the world to begin such trials.

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

Sheba Medical Centre was chosen to lead the trials in Israel, together with another eight hospitals around the world, and a 64-year-old patient in a moderate condition was the first to receive the drug.

About 40 Corona patients in Israel will receive the treatment over the course of two months. The drug is estimated to help patients in serious condition as well.

Another 300 patients will be treated worldwide.

“At Sheba, we have decided as a strategy that we will administer medications as part of the clinical trials, and the first study that began was with this drug,” explained Dr Itzik Levy, an infectious disease expert.

“We insisted on starting research at Sheba and are on the way to finding new tools to fight the virus,” Prof. Galia Rahab, director of the Sheba Infectious Diseases Unit, concluded.

The Israel Institute for Biological Research’s (IIBR) Director-General Professor Shmuel Shapira announced earlier this month that the Institute had made progress in its research and development efforts regarding a vaccine and antibodies for Corona.

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.

In March, Tel Aviv’s Sheba Medical Center was ranked in the world’s Top Ten hospitals by Newsweek magazine for the second year running.

Being declared the 9th best hospital in the world, the medical centre improved by one place compared to last year’s ranking.

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