Israel and Italy claim progress in Covid-19 vaccine
Israel defense minister Naftali Bennett made headlines after expressing a degree of confidence through a tweet on Monday in the development process of the COVID-19 vaccine. Bennett said that Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) has achieved a major breakthrough in the race to find a cure for COVID-19. Scientists at the research laboratory have managed to isolate a key coronavirus antibody which could possibly neutralize the virus. Following the development, Israel’s defense minister visited the institute for biological research where the antibody was isolated the minister claimed that the institute is in the process of patenting the antibody formula and once the patent is procured the search will begin for an international manufacturer.
Israel’s breakthrough is distinct for a couple of reasons, the antibody that they have isolated is monoclonal in nature which means that it has been derived from a single recovered cell making the chances of success higher. Antibodies are proteins developed by the immune system to fight the virus and they remain in a person’s body even after recovery which makes them key in developing not just a cure but also a vaccine. Now that the formula has been developed, it will have to be tested to gauge its efficiency and deployability.
Worldwide efforts are in high gear to find the vaccine. Reports of cures and vaccines are popping up across the world. In a similar effort, Italian news agency ANSA confirmed that a firm called Takis Biotech in Italy is also in an advanced stage of developing a COVID-9 vaccine. The vaccine has antibodies generated in mice that may work on Human cells too. Tests were conducted in Romes Spallanzani Hospital. The company claims for the first time a candidate vaccine has neutralized the virus. CEO of the firm said tests on human will be done after summer. The vaccine being developed are based on the genetic material of DNA protein known as Spike. Scientists are currently studying the longevity of the vaccine’s immunity response.
According to the World Health Organization, one hundred candidate vaccines are under preclinical evaluation with at least eight already in the human trial stage as of Tuesday. Coronavirus cases have crossed 3 million across the world and have claimed over 2 lakh lives so far