Israeli scientists claim to have made a breakthrough in developing a coronavirus vaccine. This was revealed by their Science and Technology Minister, Ofir Akunis.
Speaking to media, Ofir congratulated the scientists of the MIGAL Research Institute for creating a vaccine to ‘save mankind’ from this novel virus. If all goes as planned, the vaccine will be ready in the next few weeks and available in the market within 90 days, he said.
Congratulations to MIGAL [The Galilee Research Institute] on this exciting breakthrough. I am confident there will be further rapid progress, enabling us to provide a needed response to the grave global COVID-19 threat.
About the Vaccine
The potential coronavirus antidote is a by-product of the vaccine for a similar disease called the infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). This condition is common in chickens.
As reported by the Israeli media, MIGAL scientists have been working on the vaccine for the past four years. It was recently proven effective in preclinical trials carried out by Veterinary Institute.
Since IBV is similar to Covid-19 and uses the same mechanism for infection, they made genetic alterations to the IBV vaccine to make it useful to the human strain of the novel coronavirus. The scientists are now working on getting in-vivo testing approvals and mass manufacturing the vaccine.
CEO MIGAL, David Zigdon, said:
Given the urgent global need for a human coronavirus vaccine, we are doing everything we can to accelerate development. Our goal is to produce the vaccine during the next eight to ten weeks and to achieve safety approval in 90 days.
Describing the mechanism, Dr. Chen Katz, the biotechnology group leader at MIGAL, said that it would be an oral vaccine and will work as a new protein expression vector.
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.
David added that their focus will be on making the vaccine accessible to the general public.