Featured News: What’s new about Italy and Israel’s first COVID-19 vaccine

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May 7, 2020

Israel’s Defence Minister Naftali Bennett said scientists at the Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR) had developed an antibody to COVID-19. The IIBR is a secretive organisation that works directly under the Israel Prime Minister’s Office. The Times of Israel reported that the antibody’s development had been completed and that researchers will approach international companies to produce the antibody on a commercial scale. However, the report also said that the antibodies were yet to be tested on humans.

Takis in collaboration with Applied DNA Sciences Inc. is working on a vaccine. The researchers claimed that they have successfully developed a vaccine that can help contain the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.  The DNA-based vaccine was able to produce an antibody response against the spike protein of the virus in mice. As per tests conducted in Rome’s infectious-disease Spallanzani Hospital on mice, the vaccine has antibodies that work on human cells, blocking the virus from infecting people. The team of researchers further observed that the five vaccine candidates generated a large number of antibodies, and selected two with the best results. Luigi Aurisicchio, CEO of Takis, the firm developing the medication, said that a coronavirus candidate vaccine has neutralised the virus in human cells for the first time, the Arab News reported. According to reports, the company is likely to commence human trials soon.

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