Israel claims breakthrough in Covid-19 treatment

Tel Aviv: Amid the menace of the Coronavirus pandemic and with no specific antidote to it so far, Israel’s Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has claimed that his country has made a significant breakthrough towards the treatment for the deadly virus.

Israel is one of the countries that has been racing to find a cure or a vaccine for Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that emerged in China.

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. It also added that Bennett visited the IIBR on Monday where he was briefed on a significant breakthrough in finding an antidote for the coronavirus”.

According to Defence Minister Bennett’s statement, the process of developing the vaccine has been completed and now the process of patenting and mass production will take place in the next stage. Bennett’s statement, however did not reveal the status of human trials of the vaccine.

According to international reports quoting IIBR Director Shmuel Shapira, the antibody formula was being patented, after which an international manufacturer would be sought to mass produce it.

The IIBR has been leading Israeli efforts to develop a treatment and vaccine for the coronavirus, including the testing of blood from those who have recovered from Covid-19.

Elsewhere, there have been coronavirus treatments developed from antibodies that are polyclonal, or derived from two or more cells of different ancestry, the magazine Science Direct reported in its May issue.

Israel was one of the first countries to close its borders and impose increasingly stringent restrictions on movement to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus. It has reported 16,246 cases and 235 deaths due to Covid-19.

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