Israelis moving quickly to get out a COVID-19 vaccine


Israeli scientists at the MIGAL Galilee Research Institute had worked for four years and had successfully developed a Coronavirus vaccine for chickens which passed clinical trials. When they saw the genetic sequencing of the COVID-19 virus, they realized that they could quickly adapt their chicken vaccine to the human virus. Ella Dagan, a spokesman for MIGAL told europorter:

When the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus COVID-19 was published, the researchers realized that the two viruses have the same infection mechanism similarities so they can use it, with small amount of adaptation, to achieve an effective human vaccine in a very short period of time.

Dr. Shahar, one of the scientists at MIGAL saw God’s hand in this. He told

It’s a little bit like fate that we were working on this coronavirus vaccine at the same time that the world was suddenly hit by this epidemic of coronavirus for humans.

MIGAL created its vaccine by synthesizing two proteins. Unlike vaccines that are created by injecting a dead or weakened disease-causing virus, there is little danger that a synthetic virus will give patients a disease.

Its vaccine creates antibodies in the mucosal immune system of the body which consists of thin permeable barriers to infection in the lungs, gut, eyes, nose, throat, uterus, and vagina. Dr. Chen Katz, MIGAL’s biotechnology group leader, gave europorter a detailed cellular-level description of how MIGAL’s vaccine works:

The scientific framework for the vaccine is based on a new protein expression vector, which forms and secretes a chimeric soluble protein that delivers the viral antigen into mucosal tissues by self-activated endocytosis (a cellular process in which substances are brought into a cell by surrounding the material with cell membrane, forming a vesicle containing the ingested material), causing the body to form antibodies against the virus.

Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology, Ofir Akunis, is expediting the human vaccine through Israel’s approval process. According to eureporter:

The minister has instructed the Director General of the Ministry of Science and Technology to fast-track all approval processes with the goal of bringing the human vaccine to market as quickly as possible.

Dr. Katz of MIGAL told Times of Israel that Israel’s approval process only involves about two months of actual testing:

The clinical testing experiments themselves are not so long, and we can complete them in 30 days, plus another 30 days for human trials. Most of the time is bureaucracy — regulation and paperwork.

CEO David Zigdon of MIGAL told europorter that MIGDAL’s goal is to get their vaccine approved in just three months:

Given the urgent global need for a human Coronavirus vaccine, we are doing everything we can to accelerate development. Our goal is to produce the vaccine during the next 8-10 weeks, and to achieve safety approval in 90 days.

There are at least two American COVID-19 vaccines in the works:

  1. Moderna Therapeutics has developed a synthetic virus made from mRNA and has gotten it approved by NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) for testing with human subjects. Those tests won’t begin until April.
  2. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals will soon have a treatment that will serve as a vaccine for those who don’t have coronavirus and a treatment for those who do. They will inject coronovirus antibodies directly into the bloodstream instead of relying upon a vaccine to create those antibodies. They used a similar treatment to prevent and cure Ebola.

The Israeli government could approve the Israeli vaccine in as little as three months. President Trump may have to intervene in order to get NIAID moving just as fast with an American vaccine.

March 15, 2020 | Comments » | 336 views

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