KEY POINTS

  • Israeli scientists have isolated a very important coronavirus antibody
  • The Defense Minister of Israel calls it as a "significant breakthrough" towards a possible treatment
  • Reports say that the antibody that the Israeli scientists isolated was monoclonal

Israeli scientists working in the country’s primary biological research laboratory have isolated a vital coronavirus antibody, according to Israel’s defense minister Naftali Bennett, calling it a ‘significant breakthrough’ towards a probable treatment. 

Developed By Scientists

In a statement released Sunday, Mr. Bennett said that the “monoclonal neutralizing antibody,” developed at IIBR, the main biological research laboratory of Israel, “can neutralize the disease-causing SARS-CoV-2 inside the carrier’s body.” It was also revealed that Bennett visited the Israel Institute for Biological Research or IIBR on Monday.

The defense minister, per the statement, was briefed there by scientists “on a significant breakthrough in finding an antidote for the coronavirus.” It also quoted Shmuel Shapira, the IIBR Director, as saying that the patenting process is now underway for the antibody formula. After a patent is granted, the country will be looking for an international manufacturer to mass-produce the antibody formula. coronavirus antibody update, israeli scientists isolate key antibody coronavirus antibody update, israeli scientists isolate key antibody Photo: fernandoziminaicela - Pixabay

Antibodies In Samples

The IIBR has been at the forefront of Israeli efforts to find a treatment and vaccine for the deadly virus. The lab has also been leading the efforts in the testing of blood from patients who recovered from COVID-19, the ailment caused by the virus.

According to scientists, antibodies have been found in such samples. For starters, antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system and are from residues from the immune response of the body to the pathogen. Since antibodies are unique to a certain pathogen, their presence in the body is proof that the person has been infected by the coronavirus and successfully mounted an immune response. These antibodies are largely seen as the key to discovering a possible cure.

A Monoclonal Antibody

Reports say the antibody isolated by IIBR scientists is monoclonal, which means it was extracted from a single recovered cell. According to health experts, monoclonal antibodies have more potent value when trying to develop a treatment.

Science Direct, in its May issue, claimed that other research labs are reported to have also been developing possible coronavirus treatments from antibodies. These antibodies, however, were reportedly polyclonal or extracted from two or more cells of varied ancestry.