JERUSALEM, Israel – The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) announced on Tuesday that it has completed “groundbreaking” research on an antibody that can potentially be used in treatments against the coronavirus (SARS-COV-2).
IIBR discovered that the specific antibody neutralizes the coronavirus after testing it against SARS-COV-2.
It is not a vaccine, but an antibody that they believe can be isolated and used to treat those already infected.
“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. This is the result of the institute’s great experience and the unique capabilities of its scientists,” the Defense Ministry, which funds IIBR, said in a statement.
The institute is pursuing a patent but it will be months before the antibody is approved for use.
“This is a real breakthrough” involving “scientific and technological capabilities of the first order,” Prof. Shuki Shemer, head of Israel’s Assuta Medical Center and former director-general of the Health Ministry, told Israel’s Channel 13 News.
“No other country has done this,” Shemer continued.
A Dutch institute announced on Monday that it had also isolated an antibody that can neutralize the virus.
Meanwhile, the world is racing to develop a vaccine.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday told world leaders during a virtual conference that Israel is pledging $60 million to the world’s efforts to fight COVID-19.
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