Israeli scientists searching for an antidote for the coronavirus announced a major advancement Monday in a joint statement with the Ministry of Defense.
Scientists at the Israel Institute for Biological Research said they had isolated a key coronavirus antibody and developed a “monoclonal neutralising antibody” that “can neutralise” the coronavirus “inside carriers’ bodies,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said in the statement, according to Reuters.
Bennett visited the research facility Monday and was briefed on a “significant breakthrough in finding an antidote for the coronavirus,” the statement said.
“I am proud of the Biological Institute staff, who have made a major breakthrough,” Bennett said. “The Jewish creativity and ingenuity brought about this amazing achievement.”
The research team has completed the development phase and is seeking a patent, the statement said. After it is patented, the Israel Institute for Biological Research will seek a “contract for its commercial development,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
The antibody is the latest positive development in the battle against the coronavirus.
Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said last week he believes it’s possible to have hundreds of millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine ready for the general public by January. It’s part of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed project.
“I think that is doable if things fall in the right place,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pfizer announced Tuesday it has begun human trials on a vaccine against the coronavirus. It is working with German pharmaceutical company BioNTech.
“With our unique and robust clinical study program underway, starting in Europe and now the U.S., we look forward to advancing quickly and collaboratively with our partners at BioNTech and regulatory authorities to bring a safe and efficacious vaccine to the patients who need it most,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. “The short, less than four-month time frame in which we've been able to move from preclinical studies to human testing, is extraordinary.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.