Israeli Researchers Announce Breakthrough on Coronavirus Vaccine
Some researchers at the Migal Galilee Research Institute (MIGAL) in Israel say they have developed an effective vaccine against avian coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and will soon create a human vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19).
IBV is a disease affecting animals. The researchers said the vaccine against IBV has been proven in pre-clinical trials.
After four years of multi-disciplinary research funded by Israel’s ministry of science and technology in cooperation with Israel’s ministry of agriculture, MIGAL, on its website, the researchers said they have achieved a scientific breakthrough that will lead to the rapid creation of a vaccine against coronavirus.
MIGAL said it has now made required genetic adjustments to adapt the vaccine to COVID-19, the human strain of coronavirus, and is working to achieve the safety approvals that will enable in-vivo testing, enable the initiation of production of a vaccine to counter the coronavirus epidemic currently spreading throughout the world, which so far has claimed 2,666 lives.
From MIGAL research, it was discovered that the poultry coronavirus has high genetic similarity to the human COVID-19, and that it uses the same infection mechanism, a fact that increases the likelihood of achieving an effective human vaccine in a very short period of time.
“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 8-10 weeks, and to achieve safety approval in 90 days,” David Zigdon, MIGAL’s chief executive officer, said.
“This will be an oral vaccine, making it particularly accessible to the general public. 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.”
Chen Katz, MIGAL’s biotechnology group leader, also said “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 (a cellular process in which substances are brought into a cell by surrounding the material with cell membrane, forming a vesicle containing the ingested material), causing the body to form antibodies against the virus. In pre-clinical (IN-VIVO) trials, MIGAL’s researchers have demonstrated that the oral vaccination induces high levels of specific anti-IBV antibodies.”
Nigeria confirmed its first case of the disease on Friday.
Author: Femi Owolabi