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Has Israel discovered 'miracle' cure for COVID-19?

“If this succeeds, it will be huge, simply huge. This is of global significance," said Netanyahu

Illustrative image - doctor holding and virtual human lungs with coronavirus (Image: Shutterstock)

Researchers at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital recently announced positive results in preliminary trials for a potential Israeli cure for COVID-19. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already called it a potential “miracle drug.” 

Medication developed and tested by Prof. Nadir Arber from the Ichilov’s Integrated Cancer Prevention Center showed a 95% positive result on COVID-19 patients in moderate and serious condition. The condition for 29 out of 30 patients improved dramatically within two days and they were fully released from hospital within three to five days. 

The experimental Israeli medicine, named EXO-CD24, is used once per day for five days and is inexpensive compared to existing COVID-19 vaccines according to Arber. The inventor of EXO-CD24 hopes it will eventually help many countries currently lacking vaccines, especially poor countries unable to finance the expensive COVID-19 vaccines produced by global pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. 

Earlier in January, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the battle against the pandemic is undermined by the extremely high concentration of vaccines among relatively few mainly high-income countries. 

During a press briefing in Geneva in January, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed the unequal access to the highly coveted COVID-19 vaccines. 

“There is a clear problem that low and most middle-income countries are not receiving the vaccine yet,” said Ghebreyesus. 

Despite its tiny size and limited resources, Israel has long played a disproportionate role in assisting countries throughout the developing world in agriculture, water management and health. It is therefore fitting that Israel might also be the one to develop an affordable cure to the coronavirus. 

“We can produce this drug effectively, efficiently and cheaply, so this could be a partial solution for countries that can’t currently afford a vaccination. This is our duty, to bring the message of hope to the entire world,” said Arber. 

On Monday, Netanyahu invited Arber to his office and asked the professor to explain the “miracle drug.” 

“If this succeeds, it will be huge, simply huge. This is of global significance. This is amazing. I wish you success. If you need anything, say it and we will help you. This little thing could change the fate of humanity. This is amazing. Good luck,” said Netanyahu during a briefing. 

Netanyahu reportedly promised Arber to eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic delays in rolling out the new cure. However, Arber stressed that the speed would not come at the expense of compromising continued testing safety. 

Earlier this week, Netanyahu touted the “miracle cure” during a press conference with the visiting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. 

“If you’re infected by corona and are seriously ill and have a lung problem, take this, inhale it, and you come out feeling good,” Netanyahu told Mitsotakis. 

The Greek prime minister expressed strong interest in the Israel COVID-19 cure. 

“Assuming that we can overcome the regulatory hurdles, Greece would be happy to participate in clinical trials. We would all be very relieved if we could find a drug that could cure the disease itself,” said Mitsotakis. 

Following the meeting between Netanyahu and Mitsotakis, Greece’s largest hospital said it will participate in the trials of the new Israeli COVID-19 treatment.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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