Israel develops antibody against coronavirus; claims ‘significant breakthrough’ in the fight against Covid-19

Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett has claimed that scientists at the country’s main biological research institute have developed an antibody against coronavirus and which is a “significant breakthrough” in the fight against Covid-19. He also said that as the researchers have wrapped up the development phase and moved to patent and mass produce the potential treatment. PTI reports.

According to a statement from Bennett’s office, Bennett visited the labs of the Israel’s Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), which is being operated under the Prime Minister’s Office and mandated to develop a vaccine for coronavirus, in Ness Ziona on Monday and was shown the “antibody that attacks the virus in a monoclonal way and can neutralize it within the bodies of those ill”.

The statement said that the antibody’s development had been completed and that the institute is trying to get the patent for their new finding. “and in the next stage, researchers will approach international companies to produce the antibody on a commercial scale”.

“I am proud of the institute staff for this terrific breakthrough,” Bennett said, adding that “their creativity and the Jewish mind brought about this amazing achievement”.

In March, Israeli daily Ha’aretz, quoting medical sources, had reported that scientists at the institute had made a significant breakthrough in understanding the biological mechanism and qualities of the virus, including better diagnostic capability, production of antibodies for those who already have the virus and development of a vaccine.

However, the statement keeps silent on whether human trials were conducted.

The IIBR which is under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office, but is in close communication with the Defense Ministry, was established in 1952 as part of the Israel Defense Forces’ Science Corps, and later became a civilian organization.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is said to have ordered the institute to devote resources to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 on February 1.

“The biological institute is a world-renowned research and development agency, which relies on experienced researchers and scientists with great knowledge and quality infrastructures. There are now more than 50 experienced scientists working at the institute on researching and developing a medical remedy for the virus”, the report said.