BEVERLY HILLS, February 11, (THEWILL) – A new Israeli COVID-19 drug, Allocetra, offers hope to substantially alleviate serious coronavirus symptoms in as little as two hours.
The drug, which has successfully completed its second phase of trials, treats the extreme overreaction of the body’s immune system seen in some severe coronavirus patients, which can sometimes lead to organ failure and death.
According to Israel’s Channel 13, 90 per cent of a sample of 20 patients who were seriously ill recovered after they were treated with the drug during the trials. The drug is now commencing its third trial phase.
Yair Tayeb, one of the recovered patients, said he felt much better only two hours after receiving the drug.
“I couldn’t breathe, I could barely speak. [I was in] very, very serious condition,” he said. “I went through an experience you can’t put into words.
“They gave me the drug. Suddenly after two hours I started feeling something strange in my body. I stopped coughing, my breathing started to come back, I was feeling better. I stopped sweating. I couldn’t believe it. I was afraid to tell people I was okay, I was so excite,”, Tayeb told the Times of Israel
He added: “Two days ago I couldn’t stand on my legs… look at me now, going home.”
It is one of two drugs being developed in Israel which scientists hope will be a game changer in tackling serious coronavirus cases.
The other drug, EXO-CD24, being developed at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Medical Center has successfully completed phase-1 trials and appears to have helped numerous moderate-to-serious cases of COVID-19 quickly recover from the disease.
Initially designed to treat ovarian cancer, EXO-CD24 was tested on 30 patients with moderate to severe coronavirus symptoms who all recovered, with 29 of them feeling better within five days.
Hailing a “huge breakthrough”, the hospital said Prof. Nadir Arber’s EXO-CD24 substance had been administered to 30 patients whose conditions were moderate or worse, and all 30 recovered , 29 of them within three to five days.
The medicine fights the cytokine storm, a potentially lethal immune overreaction to the coronavirus infection that is believed to be responsible for much of the deaths associated with the disease.
It uses exosomes, a tiny carrier sacs that shuttle materials between cells to deliver a protein called CD24 to the lungs, which Arber has spent decades researching.
“This protein is located on the surface of cells and has a well known and important role in regulating the immune system”, said researcher Shiran Shapira of Arber’s lab.
The protein helps calm down the immune system and curb the storm.
“The preparation is inhaled once a day for a few minutes, for five days. The preparation is directed straight to the heart of the storm — the lungs — so unlike other formulas… which selectively restrain a certain cytokine, or operate widely but cause many serious side effects, EXO-CD24 is administered locally, works broadly and without side effects”, Arber said
Ichilov director, Roni Gamzu, the former coronavirus czar, said the research “is advanced and sophisticated and may save coronavirus patients. The results of the phase one trial are excellent.”
He added: “I am proud that at Ichilov we are… possibly bringing a blue and white remedy to a terrible global pandemic.”