The Israeli government’s research institute on April 4 said it has successfully isolated a key antibody to the CCP virus, also known as the the novel coronavirus, potentially providing a possible treatment for the current pandemic.
In a joint statement with the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) published Monday night, the country’s defense minister, Naftali Bennet, said the agency briefed him on its “significant breakthrough” when he visited the facilities on Monday, explaining that they had effectively isolated the antibody that attacks the virus monocularly and neutralizes COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, in carriers’ bodies.
The statement quoted IIBR Director Shmuel Shapira as saying that the antibody formula was being patented, after which they will seek out international manufacturers to mass-produce it.
According to What Is Biotechnology?, monoclonal antibodies are “laboratory produced antibodies designed to recognise and bind to specific receptors found on the surface of cells.” The website states they are “derived from natural antibodies, complex proteins derived from a single B cell made by the body’s immunological defence system to recognise and fight foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses.”
So far, facilities researching antibodies have developed treatments from antibodies that are polyclonal, or derived from two or more cells of different ancestry, Reuters reported.
On Twitter, Israel’s Ministry of Defense said the antibody has three key parameters: It is monoclonal, new and refined, and contains an exceptionally low proportion of harmful proteins, it is able to neutralize the CCP virus and it was specifically tested on it.
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) 1/3
— Ministry of Defense (@Israel_MOD) May 5, 2020
“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,” they added.
The IIBR has been leading Israeli efforts to develop a treatment and vaccine for the CCP virus, including the testing of blood from those who recovered from COVID-19.
Israel has been one of the most active countries in battling COVID-19, and has been successful in “flattening the curve.” The country has announced dozens of medical studies and technologies they are developing to contain the spread of the virus and treat those who are critically ill.
As of May 6, Israel has 16,289 confirmed cases of CCP virus, and 238 people have died from the disease, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year.
Reuters contributed to this report.