Israeli Lab Makes Major Breakthrough in COVID-19 Vaccine

A researcher at Protein Sciences moves a vial in a lab, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Meriden, Conn. The biotech company is currently researching a vaccine for COVID-19. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

June 24, 2020

The Times of Israel reported that the Israeli Defense Ministry-run Institute for Biological Research has made a major breakthrough in the making of a vaccine for COVID-19.

The institute, based in Ness Ziona, says they have been able to protect hamsters from COVID-19 with their vaccine trials, and they hope to have a finished product for human use within a year.

According to the Institute for Biological Research’s report, testing on rodents is a key preliminary stage in vaccine development, and the success of rodent trials allows scientists to begin testing on other animals. If successful, the trials will move to humans to check the effectiveness of the vaccine and screen for any possible side effects.

The Israeli lab is among about 100 research groups in the world pursuing vaccines for coronavirus. While many scientific institutions around the globe have discovered antibodies capable of destroying the virus, Israel’s Institute for Biological Research is the only one to have reached three major milestones: finding an antibody that destroys the virus; that targets this coronavirus specifically; and that is monoclonal, lacking additional proteins that can cause complications for patients.

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