Amid fears of a looming pandemic, scientists in the US and across the globe are scrambling to develop vaccines – including in Israel, where one group of researchers says it could be ready in just three weeks and available for use within 90 days.
The scientists at the Galilee Research Institute, known as MIGAL, are adapting its vaccine against the avian coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus, or IBV, to work for the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, the Jerusalem Post reported.
What is this vaccine?
The independent research institute, which specializes in the fields of biotechnology, environmental sciences and agriculture, says on its website that its team “includes 80 PhDs and a total of 260 researchers” at 53 labs. Its vaccine for IBV, a bronchial illness that affects poultry, has already been proven in preclinical trials conducted at Israel’s Veterinary Institute, according to the news outlet.
“Our basic concept was to develop the technology and not specifically a vaccine for this kind or that kind of virus. The scientific framework for the vaccine is based on a new protein expression vector, which forms and secretes a chimeric soluble protein that delivers the viral antigen into mucosal tissues by self-activated endocytosis, causing the body to form antibodies against the virus,” said Dr. Chen Katz, MIGAL’s biotech group chief.
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