Over eighty Israeli med-tech firms are working on a solution for COVID-19, ranging from a vaccine to remote monitoring, preventive measures and therapeutic treatments for the disease, and some are showing positive results, but unfortunately no one has succeeded yet in finding a vaccine.
RedHill Biopharma Ltd. has completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of its experimental drug Opaganib, and has used the drug to treat an Israeli COVID-19 patient suffering from respiratory symptoms. Opaganib, which is administered orally, is a selective inhibitor that targets the protein sphingosine kinase-2, which can block viral replication. According to Redhill, more COVID-19 patients in Israel are expected to be treated with the drug soon. In addition, Italian health officials have given the okay to use the drug to fight the coronavirus in Italy.
NeuroRx has received the go-ahead from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for phase two trials of a drug that can combat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), a condition induced by severe lung inflammation that has caused some 50 percent of COVID-19 fatalities. The NeroRx Aviptadil drug is a synthetic form of a neuropeptide hormone that enables communications between neurons in the human nervous system. At this stage FDA approval supports further studies in advance of full-fledged approval, which will allow the drug to be administered to COVID-19 patients.
The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) has advanced development of a Covid-19 vaccine prototype, with preparations now underway for animal testing. According to the Reuters news agency, three teams at IIBR are working to develop a vaccine against coronavirus infection, while others are exploring potential treatments.
Pluristem Therapeutics uses placentas to grow smart cells, and programs them to secrete healing proteins in the bodies of sick patients. The firm has used placenta cells to treat seven Israelis with severe respiratory symptoms. Three are now on target to move off ventilators and all of them have shown signs of improvement. Pluristem representatives have stated that once it receives the green light from regulators, massive quantities of treatment can be prepared. Moreover, the company claims that a single placenta can treat 20,000 people suffering from the coronavirus. With this encouraging development, the company’s market value has risen from under $4 to $10 a share. Without a doubt, Israel will probably be the first nation to find a cure for COVID-19 that is holding an entire world hostage.