‘Significant breakthrough’ for vaccine

Israel has isolated a coronavirus antibody at one of its biological research facilities saying the country has made a "major breakthrough" in treating the virus.

A joint statement released by the Israeli Ministry of Defence and the Israel Institute for Biological Research said the research team had finished the development phase of a coronavirus vaccine.

The team will now move to patent the antibodies and begin mass producing what it claimed will be the world's first coronavirus vaccine.


Israel's defence minister Naftali Bennett said while visiting the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) he was shown the "antibody which attacks the virus in a monoclonal way and can neutralise it within the bodies of those ill," according to a statement published by The Times of Israel.

The publication reports a previous breakthrough was achieved by the researchers in late March, saying it was "not clear" if what was presented to Mr Bennett was new research.

The statement didn't specify if the team had begun conducting human trials of their vaccine.

Israeli efforts to develop a vaccine for coronavirus are being led by the IIBR, whose director Shmuel Shapira said in the statement the antibody formula would be patented and the team were seeking an international manufacturer to produce the formula.

Accepted estimates by other researchers put the timeline for a coronavirus vaccine some 10 to 15 months in the future, while some have remained sceptical about being able to produce a vaccine for coronaviruses at all.

The IIBR's antibody treatment is "monoclonal" - meaning it was derived from a single cell - and is thought to have more potency in treatment according to The New York Times.

Other treatments have been developed from polyclonal antibodies, meaning two or more cells.

Originally published as 'Significant breakthrough' for vaccine