Israeli scientists are on the cusp of developing the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus, according to Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis. If all goes as planned, the vaccine could be ready within a few weeks and available in 90 days, according to a release. “Congratulations to MIGAL [The Galilee Research Institute] on this exciting breakthrough,” Akunis said. “I am confident there will be further rapid progress, enabling us to provide a needed response to the grave global COVID-19 threat,” Akunis said, referring to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus... “Our basic concept was to develop the technology and not specifically a vaccine for this kind or that kind of virus,” said Dr. Chen Katz, MIGAL’s biotechnology group leader... “Let’s call it pure luck,” he said. “We decided to choose coronavirus as a model for our system just as a proof of concept for our technology.”... “All we need to do is adjust the system to the new sequence,” he said. “We are in the middle of this process, and hopefully in a few weeks we will have the vaccine in our hands. Yes, in a few weeks, if it all works, we would have a vaccine to prevent coronavirus.”... Akunis said he has instructed his ministry’s director-general to fast-track all approval processes with the goal of bringing the human vaccine to market as quickly as possible. “Given the urgent global need for a human coronavirus vaccine, we are doing everything we can to accelerate development,” MIGAL CEO David Zigdon said. The vaccine could “achieve safety approval in 90 days,” he said. It will be an oral vaccine, making it particularly accessible to the general public, Zigdon said. “We are currently in intensive discussions with potential partners that can help accelerate the in-human trials phase and expedite completion of final-product development and regulatory activities,” he said.
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