Israel research institute says they are weeks away from a coronavirus vaccine


Newsweek reports that “the head of a research institute in Israel has said its scientists are “weeks” away from developing a vaccine against the deadly new coronavirus which causes COVID-19.”

“On Thursday, the MIGAL Galilee Research Institute said in a statement a new vaccine against a coronavirus which infects chickens has brought them a step closer to developing a preparation to protect against COVID-19.”

“According to the statement, a multi-disciplinary team created an Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) vaccine which has been shown to be effective in pre-clinical trials. The scientists found the bird virus has a similar genetic code to and infects individuals in the same way as the deadly new coronavirus in humans, of which there are over 83,000 cases as shown by the Statista map below. This “increases the likelihood of achieving an effective human vaccine in a very short period of time,” the institute said.”

“We are currently in intensive discussions with potential partners that can help accelerate the in-human trials phase and expedite the completion final product development and regulatory activities,” the statement reads.

Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security who was not involved in the research, told Newsweek on Friday he believes it is possible to adapt a vaccine for an avian coronavirus to human coronavirus.

“If the vaccine is shown to be efficacious and safe, roll out could be quite rapid given they could likely employ manufacturing centers making the prior poultry vaccine,” he said.

Adalja added: “The challenge will be to conduct human trials rapidly to prove efficacy and secure regulatory agency approvals.”

Other labs are also working furiously, and some drugs are being readied to test on humans to alleviate the symptoms.

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