Naftali Bennett 'This is Israel's Manhattan Project in war on the coronavirus'

Israeli breakthrough with coronavirus antibodies is major step forward in fight against the pandemic, says Defense Minister Naftali Bennett.

Defense Min. Naftali Bennett ,

Rivlin and Bennett at Israel Institute for Biological Research
Rivlin and Bennett at Israel Institute for Biological Research
Kobi Gideon/GPO

During the past few days, our scientists at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), have determined a set of three more antibodies that neutralize the novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2).

This is beyond the first antibody, which we already announced. I’ve had the unique opportunity to push this project since its inception a few months ago. These are incredibly smart, creative and vigorous researchers, who love their work and care deeply about Israel’s security.

Today when meeting them I requested that they move as quickly as possible to complete the work for a full treatment.

I’ve ordered Israel’s Defense Ministry to spare no money or resources to make this happen.

I view this as Israel’s “Manhattan Project” to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic. This scientific breakthrough has three key parameters: 1. These novel antibodies are fully human monoclonal, selected from COVID-19 patients.

2. These antibodies specifically bind to distinct elements of the aggressive corona virus. 3. The institute has demonstrated the ability of each of the antibodies to neutralize the live corona virus (block the virus from infecting cells).

Based on comprehensive scientific publications from around the globe, it appears that the IIBR is the first institution to achieve a scientific breakthrough that meets all three of the aforementioned parameters simultaneously.

The IIBR is currently pursuing a patent for their development, after which it will contact international manufactures. It should be emphasized that this scientific achievement has the potential to progress towards a treatment for corona patients, and that it is not a vaccine for wide use. This is an important milestone, which will be followed by a series of complex tests and a process of regulatory approvals.

That said, the scientists at the institute believe that the nature of this breakthrough could lead to a shortening of the process, which could span over several months.



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