‘Yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the CDC’s infectious disease unit, affirmed that even though Gilead and Moderna might be ready, or almost ready, for Phase 1 trials, the US likely won’t have a workable vaccine for another year to 18 months.
And on Thursday, a team of Israeli scientists one-upped the US, boasting that they could have a vaccine ready “in a few weeks.”
According to a statement cited by the Jerusalem Post, a team of Israeli scientists are on the cusp of developing the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus, according to Israel’s Science and Technology Minister, Ofir Akunis. If all goes as planned, the vaccine could be ready within a few weeks and available for human use in 90 days.
“Congratulations to MIGAL [The Galilee Research Institute] on this exciting breakthrough,” Akunis said. “I am confident there will be further rapid progress, enabling us to provide a needed response to the grave global COVID-19 threat,” Akunis said.
For four years, a team of scientists at MIGAL has been developing a vaccine to combat infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), which causes a bronchial disease affecting poultry. The effectiveness of the vaccine has been demonstrated during preclinical trials carried out at the Veterinary Institute.
During the process, they discovered a process for developing new vaccines that they expect will help facilitate a novel coronavirus vaccine in world-beating time.
“Our basic concept was to develop the technology and not specifically a vaccine for this kind or that kind of virus,” said Dr. Chen Katz, MIGAL’s biotechnology group leader. “The scientific framework for the vaccine is based on a new protein expression vector, which forms and secretes a chimeric soluble protein that delivers the viral antigen into mucosal tissues by self-activated endocytosis, causing the body to form antibodies against the virus.”
Here’s how the team discovered their project would be useful for the coronavirus vaccine.’