Will Israel create the SAFE, oral vaccine for COVID-19? MigVax… … L’chaim! 🇮🇱😎🇮🇱

🤔… ☺️… Krav Migal! 😆

I’m not having any vaccination, unless it’s Israeli! 🇮🇱😎🇮🇱 Bill Gates and Oxford and whomever else can fuck right off… I’ll take that needle full of shit, and shank him right in the eye with it myself.

Anyway, I’m in direct contact with a lovely woman from MigVax.

MigVax, an affiliate of The Migal Galilee Research Institute, is pioneering the effort to develop Israel’s human vaccine against COVID-19.

MigVax will leverage a licensed platform technology that was developed by MIGAL over the past four years to treat chickens for the Avian Infectious Bronchitis (IBV) virus.

Benefits of the MigVax vaccine:

  1. The MigVax vaccine is oral, making it very simple and safer to administer. (only COVID vaccine under development that is not injection).
  2. It doesn’t use any form of the virus itself – either live or dead – making it safer to develop and for immune-compromised patients. As a result:
    1. cannot cause any disease state
    2. less likelihood of side-effects, and
    3. less likelihood of toxic “enhancement” response.
  3. It is based on a vaccine for another strain of coronavirus in birds that has already been tested on live animals and proved to be safe and effective.
  4. It develops a three-pronged protection via mucosal immunity; blood-based immunity through antibodies; and cell-mediated immunity through T-cell response.
  5. It offers significant advantages in manufacturing and cost as its production is based on the well-known process of bacterial fermentation, so it can be scaled quickly to provide the millions of vaccine doses required to stamp out the pandemic.
  6. The MigVax solution is a platform. The strategy they are developing is not just specific to the current strain of COVID-19. The platform looks like it will provide an effective basis to develop vaccines for other forms of coronavirus now and in the future.”
Ya know it’s bad luck to toast L’chaim if it’s not alcohol… maybe make an exception in this case.

MigVax: Israeli COVID-19 vaccine closer to trials

By HILLEL FULD   MAY 1, 2020 11:01

A MigVax scientist is seen working on a potential vaccine candidate.  (photo credit: Courtesy)

A MigVax scientist is seen working on a potential vaccine candidate.(photo credit: Courtesy)

I think it is fair to say that a vast majority of human beings on planet Earth have one question in their minds: When will we have an actual vaccine?

HILLEL’S TECH CORNER: These past two months have proven to be quite an unpleasant experience for humankind. We all want to fully go back to our normal routines. As a collective, we’re miserable being sheltered in place, and cabin fever is hitting hard. We miss face-to-face contact with our loved ones. We’re desperate for more income. We want to go out, and take part in the recreational activities we previously took for granted. And I haven’t even mentioned the worst part: the virus itself and people losing loved ones.Times are tough, and most forms of media aren’t doing much in terms of providing comfort. From TV to social networks and messaging platforms, we’re all being flooded with updates surrounding COVID-19. They mostly revolve around deaths, increases in confirmed cases, company downfalls, and the shortage of food and medical supplies. We take comfort when we hear heartwarming stories of humanity, all in an attempt to grab any form of hope we can find. Well, every dark cloud does have a silver lining. Out of nearly three million confirmed cases of coronavirus, 1.77 million are mild cases, and more than 807,050 people have recovered as of the time of my writing this. I think it is fair to say that a vast majority of human beings on planet Earth have one question in their minds: When will we have an actual vaccine? Well, I have some good news.We’re getting closer than ever to COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, and it is all thanks to MigVax, which recently secured a $12 million investment from OurCrowd to accelerate the path to clinical trials and bring Israel’s human coronavirus vaccine to market.MigVax is an affiliate of the MIGAL Galilee Research Institute, which is pioneering the effort to develop Israel’s human vaccine against COVID-19. MIGAL just completed testing a new vaccine against infectious bronchitis virus, a coronavirus strain that causes bronchial disease affecting poultry. MigVax is using the methods learned from the existing vaccine to develop a new oral subunit human vaccine against COVID-19.The MIGAL Galilee Research Institute is an internationally recognized and multi-disciplinary applied research institute that specializes in biotechnology and computer sciences, plant science, precision agriculture and environmental sciences as well as food, nutrition and health.MIGAL is the largest regional R&D center of the Israeli Science and Technology Ministry based in Kiryat Shmona, with 310 employees including 90 PhDs and 190 researchers. MIGAL’s interdisciplinary vaccine development team has been collaborating for several years on other vaccine development projects, and is highly qualified to carry out this project.MigVax is based in northern Israel, not far from the MIGAL Galilee Research Institute. MigVax was established as an Ltd by MIGAL, which granted MigVax an exclusive worldwide license to make, use and practice the vaccine technology for the development, manufacturing and commercialization of vaccines for viruses in humans, starting with COVID-19.YOU’RE PROBABLY thinking that you’ve already heard of other companies developing their own vaccine for COVID-19, and in Israel as well. But there are a few distinguishing factors in the case of MigVax. Aside from the fact that it is based on a proven platform of in-vivo efficacy in preventing IBV infection in chickens, it is also an oral-based vaccine that offers three-pronged immunity, and significant advantages in manufacturing and cost.While there are several types of other vaccines being tested that also do not use the virus itself, interim MigVax CEO David Zigdon and his team believe they are unique in that their vaccine is a mixture of three recombinant chimeric soluble proteins.Their approach utilizes a chimeric protein that presents the viral proteins to the immune system via the  mouth and throat. The oral administration of the chimeric protein combination generates three kinds of immunological response activating mucosal, systemic and cell-mediated immunity against the SARS CoV2 antigens.Mucosal immunity is especially important in that it may prevent infection via the oropharynx and also prevent a detrimental immune response known as enhancement, which can occur in systemic IgG based response. Additionally, the cell-mediated immunity may help clear viral infected cells.This is significant because it has the chance to prevent a detrimental immune response that may result with only IgG-based immunity. Cell-mediated immunity may help clear viral infected cells.Zigdon is a senior-level executive with a strong background in the hi-tech, biomed, biotech, and pharma start-up industry. He joined MIGAL in January 2019. Before that, for a period of approximately nine years, Zigdon was CEO and president of Rad BioMed, an Israel-based evergreen family fund that invests in early-stage bio-med startups. Companies that he has founded have a value in excess of $2 billion.The fact that MigVax is well on it’s way to speeding up the process of developing a vaccine for COVID-19 gives me a great sense of relief. This is especially considering how we’ve heard from experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, indicating that it will take over a year for a vaccine to be developed and approved for public use. Thanks to the support of OurCrowd, Zigdon says that MigVax aims to have the material ready for clinical trials within a few months.I’m sure we can all agree that the sooner the vaccine is developed and out there for the public, the better. Countless lives and livelihoods are at stake. On behalf of humanity, I wish the MigVax team the best of luck in their mission, and will stay tuned for developments.

Israeli Scientist Nabs US Patent For Coronavirus Vaccine Design

By NoCamels TeamApril 21, 2020

Coronavirus illustration. Pixabay

Health NewsCoronavirus illustration. Image by Daniel Roberts from Pixabay

An Israeli scientist has been awarded a US patent for his innovative vaccine design for the corona family of viruses, and is on track to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. 

Tel Aviv University said in a statement this week that Professor Jonathan Gershoni of the School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology at TAU’s George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences was awarded a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a vaccine that targets the Achilles’ heel of coronaviruses, that is their Receptor Binding Motif (RBM), “a critical structure that enables the virus to bind to and infect a target cell.”

In the case of the novel coronavirus, the RBM is part of its “spike” protein, which is the major viral surface protein that it uses to direct how the virus engages and interacts with cells of the body and to bind to a receptor “like a key that has to fit into a keyhole,” Prof. Gershoni tells NoCamels.

According to Prof. Gershoni, the vaccine would reconstruct the coronavirus’s RBM. After the spike protein binds to the human cell receptor, the viral membrane fuses with the human cell membrane, allowing the genome of the virus to enter human cells and begin infection.

Coronavirus testing at a lab at the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera. Illustrative. March 2020. Photo: Health Ministry via Telegram

SEE ALSO: Israeli Bio-Defense Lab Reports ‘Significant Progress’ On Coronavirus Vaccine

The spike protein for the novel coronavirus is large, containing about 1,200 amino acids. Some researchers have limited their research to a region of the spike known as the receptor-binding domain (RBD) that comprises some 200 amino acids. However, the problem is that these relatively large areas have a variety of targets, and the immune system produces antibodies for all of them indiscriminately — reducing the effectiveness of a potential vaccine.

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), features the spike proteins that carry the virus, direct it to the cell, and then bind to it, like a crown. CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM. Wikimedia Commons

Gershoni and his team, who have been working on coronaviruses since 2004, around the time of the first SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak caused by SARS-CoV, are already ahead of the game. Over the course of four to five years, the team has already identified the 50 amino acids that make up the RBM, the highly complex three-dimensional structure this critical component of the virus.

“We have been using tricks of molecular biology to identify weak spots in hopes of outwitting the virus,” he explains. “We hope to isolate the weak spot [in this particular virus.] This is how we can reconstitute it.”

Functionally reconstituting such a structure, while challenging, would be an extremely effective basis of a vaccine, says Prof. Gershoni.

Professor Jonathan Gershoni. Courtesy
Professor Jonathan Gershoni. Courtesy

“We have been working on coronaviruses for the last 15 years, developing a method of reconstructing and reconstituting the RBM feature of the spike protein in SARS CoV and subsequently in MERS CoV,” he said in a university statement.

“The smaller the target and the focus of the attack, the greater the effectiveness of the vaccine,” he adds. “The virus takes far-reaching measures to hide its RBM from the human immune system, but the best way to ‘win the war’ is to develop a vaccine that specifically targets the virus’s RBM.”

The scientists began working with the genome of the novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV2 (which causes the COVID-19 disease) in early January.

Prof. Gershoni and his team completed their initial steps toward reconstituting the new SARS CoV2’s RBM, the university said. Its use as a basis for a new vaccine is covered by an additional pending patent application, filed by TAU’s technology transfer arm Ramot to the USPTO.

“Now that we have received serum samples we should be able to isolate RBM-based vaccine candidates in the next month or two,” Prof. Gershoni said. “The discovery and production of a functional RBM for the new coronavirus is fundamental and critical for the production of the vaccine we propose.”

Prof, Gershoni said they expect to provide a “blueprint” of the reconstituted RBM very soon.

“Once we have a solution, we want to partner with a pharmaceutical company,” he tells NoCamels, “Within the next two or three months, we will be in a position to know whether we have been successful or not, hopefully the latter. Then we should be able to effectively partner with the industry to produce an effective vaccine. “

The vaccine could be ready for use within a year to a year and a half, he indicated.

“Our successful isolation and reconstitution of such a functional RBM will allow the industry to incorporate it into a vaccine, which will be produced by a pharmaceutical company. Development of such an RBM-based vaccine should take months and then would need to be tested in Phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials which would then take up to a year,” he said.

The vaccine would also need to go through the usual process of getting FDA approval, Gershoni said.

COVID-19 has killed over 170,000 people across the globe and nearly three million have been infected.

Israeli vaccine development for coronavirus

A number of Israeli scientific teams are currently working to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

Earlier this month, the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) reported “significant progress” toward a vaccine. A source familiar with the institute’s activities told Reuters and other media outlets that trials were already underway on rodents, without specifying which type.

Israel’s Migal Research Institute in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona is also working on a vaccine for COVID-19. In early March, Migal scientists said that they have successfully developed a new vaccine for a deadly virus affecting poultry and are now working to adapt the vaccine for humans.

Rehovot-based company Kamada, a commercial-stage plasma-derived biopharmaceutical company, announced a few weeks ago that it was developing a “passive vaccine” for the coronavirus as a potential treatment for severely ill patients.

The company specializes in the extraction and purification of proteins from human plasma to produce immune globulins. “The plasma-derived Anti-Corona (COVID-19) IgG product is expected to be produced from plasma derived from donors recovered from the virus, which is anticipated to include antibodies to the novel coronavirus,” Kamada said.

(Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, http://www.commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88138409)

Israeli scientists at cutting edge of coronavirus vaccine research

As World Health Organisation announces 70 trials for a vaccine are ongoing, teams at Technion in Haifa and MIGAL in Kiryat Shmona are among those at the forefront of testing

By JEWISH NEWS REPORTERApril 16, 2020, 2:41 pm

Israeli scientists and universities are among those in the hunt for a vaccine for the new coronavirus as the World Health Organisation said 70 trials were now ongoing.

A vaccine could take 18 months to test then mass produce, but some human trials are already underway, and Israeli teams are at the cutting edge of research alongside those from China, the UK and the US.

Among the 60+ trials still in the pre-clinical phase was one at a laboratory at the state-funded MIGAL Research Institute in Kiryat Shmona in the upper Galilee, where a team was searching for answers based on work on Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV).

Last month scientists there said they had been working on a customisable oral vaccine for four years so had a head-start on COVID-19, adding that they hoped their vaccine would “turn this disease into a mild cold”.

Meanwhile at Technion in Haifa a team led by Dr Avi Schroeder said they were turning their attentions towards a COVID-19 vaccine based on immunity-boosting research they conducted from studying a virus found in farmed shrimp.

“Viruses infect us by multiplying inside our cells and to do this the virus produces proteins,” he said, describing a process called RNA interference. “We stop the production of these proteins inside the body.”

British teams are working on a potential vaccine using an approved treatment for leukaemia, but a Chinese firm and two American companies have already progressed to testing on humans.

Vaccines arm the immune system with ‘a memory’ of harmful invaders. Medics use vaccines to stimulate the body’s immune response, which produces antibodies. This then lets the body recognise and attack the virus before it takes a hold.

Two months ago Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) – the country’s bio-chemical defence laboratory, in Ness Ziona – to focus its efforts on finding a COVID-19 vaccine.

Such is the determination to succeed, the cabinet relaxed the lab’s usual top-secret access clearance in order for the military scientists to collaborate with civilian teams.

Last week Netanyahu’s office said IIBR director Shmuel Shapira had reported “significant progress” in designing a vaccine prototype, with testing on rodents understood to be already underway.

IIBR chief innovation officer Eran Zahavy has said the lab has three teams trying to develop a vaccine, but warned that it was getting “very crowded and very busy and very dangerous so it has to be very slow and very cautious”.

Zahavy said Israel did not just want to detect neutralising antibodies in the animals but “to see them getting sick and [then] getting better by this vaccine,” adding that IIBR had a “unique animal” for such tests.

Asked to explain, he said it was “a very unique technology to detect animals – even if they are not really sick – to follow them and see their interaction with the disease,” but did not disclose what the animal or technology was.

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