Scientists at Israel Institute for Biological Research are reportedly on the edge of announcing the completed development of a COVID-19 vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Benjamin Netanyhu, the Prime Minister of Israel, had recently ordered the institute located at Nes Tziona to devote resources and develop the vaccine.
Sources familiar with the matter have stated that nearly 50 experienced scientists at the institute have made a significant breakthrough in understanding the virus’ qualities and biological mechanism. They also reportedly have improved diagnostic capability and production of antibodies for the infected patients.
Even after the announcement of the vaccine, the research team will undergo a series of experiments and tests to examine its effectiveness and safety for use, which might last for several months. There will also be phases of preclinical and clinical trials, where preclinical trial will be conducted on animals for full characterization of the side effects and better understanding of the effect on different populations.
The Defense Ministry has recently denied reports regarding a breakthrough in the development of the vaccine or testing kits, stating the process has been proceeding on schedule and might take more time to arrive at the primary endpoint in an orderly fashion. Yet, the vaccine development process may accelerate due to the global pandemic as the coronavirus rapidly spreads across the world. It would also help manage epidemics and more serious outbreaks that are predicted to occur in 2021.
The institute has intensified the vaccine development process after it received 5 shipments of coronavirus samples from Italy, Japan and other countries. Additionally, scientists from all over the world are participating in the race to develop the vaccine, with initial focus of determining the nature of the virus among animals.
Shortly after the outbreak, China apparently released the genetic sequence of coronavirus to accelerate vaccine development and determine effective treatments. A month and a half after this reveal, Moderna, Inc. announced the completion of development of a potential coronavirus vaccine, which was promptly sent to the U.S. NIAID for clinical trials among nearly 25 participants, starting April.