12 March 2020
Jerusalem: Amid the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), scientists in Israel are expected to announce vaccine for coronavirus in the coming days but a long process of pre-clinical and clinical testing and approval process will take months, according to a media report here.
Scientists at the Israel's Biological Research Institute are making significant breakthroughs in understanding the virus and have completed development of a vaccine.
"By the time the protein is ready, we hope to have found the right partner who can take us through the clinical stage. The clinical testing experiments themselves are not so long, and we can complete them in 30 days, plus another 30 days for human trials. Most of the time is bureaucracy - regulation and paperwork," Chen Katz, Biotechnology Group Leader at the institute, was quoted as saying by The Times of Israel.
Katz also said that the new oral vaccine for adults and children could 'turn this disease into a very mild cold.'
He said that for many people who are inoculated and then infected by COVID-19, 'potentially it will not affect them at all.'
The rapid potential progress by the state-funded Migal Galilee Research Institute stems from the fact that the institute has been working for four years toward a vaccine that could be customized for various viruses, and has now adapted that work to focus on the coronavirus, Katz said.
Katz's group at Israel's state-funded Migal Institute has become a source of hope to many around the world.
According to the media report, from last four years, the research of Katz's team had been focused on developing a vaccine that could be customized to various viruses. It was piloting it with Infectious Bronchitis Virus, but as as coronavirus swept China, started adapting the vaccine for COVID-19.
The researcher revealed that the development process is sufficiently advanced that his ten-person team doesn't need the virus. Instead, it went on the Internet soon after the outbreak began, found the sequence of the virus which had been published, and got to work.