Israel’s Ministry of Defense released new details on a “groundbreaking” discovery that Israeli scientists have made in finding an antidote to the coronavirus that came from China.
“In the past two days, the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), has completed a groundbreaking scientific development, determining an antibody that neutralizes the corona virus (SARS-COV-2),” Israel’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement. “Based on comprehensive scientific publications from around the globe, it appears that the IIBR is the first institution to achieve a scientific breakthrough that meets all three of the aforementioned parameters simultaneously.”
The statement listed the following “3 key parameters” on the scientific discovery:
- The antibody is monoclonal, new and refined, and contains an exceptionally low proportion of harmful proteins
- The antibody is able to neutralize the corona virus
- The antibody was specifically tested on the aggressive corona virus
The announcement was originally made yesterday after Defense Minister Naftali Bennett visited the IIBR labs where he was reportedly shown an “antibody which attacks the virus in a monoclonal way and can neutralize it within the bodies of those ill,” according to a statement from his office.
“I am proud of the Biological Institute staff, who have made a major breakthrough,” Bennett said. “The Jewish creativity and ingenuity brought about this amazing achievement.”
Officials cautioned that Israel’s discovery would go toward developing therapeutics but not a vaccine and that they were still a few months away from having a medication ready for people to take.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Israel “is readying a nationwide serological test of 100,000 citizens to see how widely the virus has spread across its population and how vulnerable it may be to a new wave of the contagion.”
“The survey, to be conducted at clinics run by Israeli H.M.O.s beginning in a week or two, is one of the largest efforts yet to determine the prevalence of antibodies to Covid-19,” the Times added. “The results could aid in deciding how quickly businesses and schools should be allowed to return to normal operations.”
Recent numbers published by a Johns Hopkins University & Medicine coronavirus tracker showed that Israel had over 16,000 confirmed cases and 238 deaths.
The Netherlands have also reportedly made scientific progress in the fight against the coronavirus.
The Guardian reported:
The research, published in the Nature Communications journal on Monday, looked at antibodies developed to combat the 2002-04 Sars outbreak, also caused by a coronavirus. It said it identified one antibody that was also effective against the current virus, officially called Sars-CoV-2.
Scientists at Utrecht University, Erasmus Medical Center and the global biopharmaceutical company, Harbour BioMed (HBM), described it as “an initial step towards developing a fully human antibody to treat or prevent” Covid-19.
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