Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that the country’s scientists have made “significant breakthrough” in developing an antibody to Covid-19 infection.
“I am proud of the Biological Institute personnel, who have made a major progress,” Bennett said in a statement widely reported by the Israeli media. The antibody or passive vaccine attacks the Coronavirus and neutralises it in the body.
“The Jewish vision and originality brought about this amazing accomplishment,” he further said in the statement.
Bennett’s statement was released after he visited the labs of the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), a secretive unit that works under the Prime Minister’s Office. The scientists there told him that the development phase of the vaccine has been complete.
Institute of International Business and Research Director Shmuel Shapira said that the COVID19 antibody formula was being patented, after which an international manufacturer would be sought to mass-produce it.
Institute of International Business and Research has been leading Israeli efforts to develop a vaccine or treatment for the COVID19, including the testing of blood from those who recovered from Covid-19.
COVID19 Antibodies in such samples - immune-system proteins that are residues of successfully overcoming the COVID19 - are widely seen as a key to developing a possible cure.
A second Israeli research team, MigVax, has also reported that it is close to completing the first phase of development of a COVID19 vaccine. Last week, it secured a US $12 million investment to accelerate the path to clinical trials.
Israel was one of the first countries in the world to close its borders and impose restrictions on movement to hamper the COVID19 outbreak all over the country. It has reported 16,246 COVID19 cases and 235 deaths from the deadly virus.