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Israelis isolate crucial antibody that could lead to breakthrough treatments for coronavirus

Treatments for coronavirus: I’m looking forward to the United Nations passing a resolution declaring the coronavirus an innocent victim because Israel is trying to kill it.

Israelis isolate crucial antibody that could lead to breakthrough treatments for coronavirus
Israelis isolate crucial antibody that could lead to breakthrough treatments for coronavirus

Antibodies and vaccine are two somewhat different things, although they’re clearly related. Antibodies spring up naturally within the human body as a defense against disease. They are the body’s natural counterattack against any enemy force, and after exposure to a virus, antibodies become stronger and more efficient at fighting back.

Vaccines are medicines given to you to fight that same enemy. But the problem with developing a vaccine for an as-yet invulnerable virus is that you have to first understand the virus’s vulnerabilities. That’s where antibody research can make such an enormous difference. Once you can isolate an antibody, you can study how it attacks the virus and use that knowledge to develop a vaccine.

We’re already hearing that dozens of research groups are working furiously to develop a vaccine, and there’s no reason to root for one and against another. We want them all to be successful. The world needs it.

That’s why the breakthrough being reported out of Israel is so important. If what the Israelis have discovered serves as significant guidance toward the development of a vaccine, they will not only go into production with their own vaccine but surely share it with everyone else.

Israel has isolated a key coronavirus antibody at its main biological research laboratory, the Israeli defence minister said on Monday, calling the step a “significant breakthrough” toward a possible treatment for the COVID-19 pandemic. The “monoclonal neutralising antibody” developed at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) “can neutralise it (the disease-causing coronavirus) inside carriers’ bodies,” Defence Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.

The statement added that Bennett visited the IIBR on Monday where he was briefed “on a significant breakthrough in finding an antidote for the coronavirus”. It quoted IIBR Director Shmuel Shapira as saying that the antibody formula was being patented, after which an international manufacturer would be sought to mass-produce it.

We’ve reported hopeful news out of Israel before that didn’t develop as we’d hoped, but that’s no reason to jump to negative conclusions about this one. The IIBR is an official research institute of the Israeli government. It’s populated by some of the country’s top scientists, and that tends to discourage irresponsible, premature pronouncements.

There are three key elements to what IIBR has learned:

  1. The antibody is monocolonal, which means it pertains to cells or cell products derived from a single clone. It is also new and refined.
  2. The researchers have shown that the antibody has the ability to neutralize the coronavirus.
  3. The testing was done specifically on the coronavirus in aggressive form.

I don’t know how long the patenting process takes in Israel, but one would hope that under the circumstances they would expedite it as much as possible so that any antidote arising from the research could go into mass production immediately.

There’s been some talk that the United States should prioritize developing its own vaccine so as not to end up relying on any foreign country for access to what we need. I really don’t think we need to be too concerned about relying on Israel, especially since the U.S. has often been Israel’s only friend while other nations pile on with scurrilous and shameful attacks against the Jewish state.

But Israel is the kind of country that would share the vaccine with the rest of the world regardless of geopolitics. And the rest of the world is the kind of world that would hate Israel just the same.

Even so, let’s pray this is what it appears to be, because the world can’t stay in lockdown any longer. The price we’re paying from being locked down – not only in terms of economics but also in terms of the self-destructive human response to being cooped up and unproductive – is quickly becoming worse than the toll of COVID-19 itself.

It only makes sense that God’s chosen people would be the ones to show us the way out of this wilderness.

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