Coronavirus: Israel plans to provide Covid 19 vaccine in a few weeks

Coronavirus: Israel plans to provide Covid 19 vaccine in a few weeks

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Is Israel making the first coronavirus vaccine?

According to Israeli media reports, Israeli scientists are about to finalize a vaccine against the currently spreading Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus. "We will have a coronavirus vaccine in a few weeks," announces the MIGAL research institute in Galilee.

As the Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis announced to Israeli media, researchers at the MIGAL institute are about to finalize a vaccine against the Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus. If everything goes as planned, the vaccine could be available in 90 days.

Congratulations from the official side

"We congratulate MIGAL on this exciting breakthrough," Akunis told Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post. The minister is confident that there will be further rapid progress that will make it possible to respond to the global COVID-19 threat.

New technology made rapid progress possible

"Our basic concept was to develop a basic technology and not a specific vaccine for certain types of viruses," explains Dr. Chen Katz, head of MIGAL's biotechnology group. The scientific framework for the vaccine is based on a new protein expression vector that forms and secretes a soluble protein. This protein is transported into the mucous membrane tissue and causes the body to form antibodies against the coronavirus.

This process is made possible by the so-called endocytosis, a cellular process in which substances are introduced into a cell by surrounding the material with a cell membrane, whereby a vesicle is formed that contains the absorbed material.

Pure luck enabled rapid vaccine development

Over the past four years, a team of MIGAL researchers has developed a vaccine against infectious bronchitis viruses (IBV) that causes bronchial disease in poultry. The effectiveness of the vaccine has been demonstrated in preclinical studies at the Israeli Veterinary Institute.

After the research team sequenced the DNA of the novel Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus, the team found that the poultry coronavirus is genetically similar to the human coronavirus and uses the same infection mechanism. "Let's call it pure happiness," says research director Katz.

Chanced on the right virus by chance

The similarity made it possible to obtain an effective vaccine for humans in a very short time, says Katz. "All we have to do is adapt the system to the new sequence," he explains. "We are in the middle of this process and hopefully we will have the vaccine in our hands in a few weeks."

Government wants to accelerate completion

Akunis adds that he has instructed the director general of his ministry to speed up all approval procedures with the aim of getting the human vaccine to market as soon as possible. "Given the pressing global need for a human coronavirus vaccine, we are doing everything we can to accelerate development," said David Zigdon, director of MIGAL. A safety approval is expected in 90 days, he predicts.

"We are currently in intensive discussions with potential partners who can help to speed up the phase of human trials and accelerate the completion of the development of the end product and the approval activities," reports the MIGAL CEO. (vb)

Author and source information

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