A new treatment developed by an Israeli hospital could offer hope for thousands of hospitalized coronavirus patients.
Officials at Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv announced Friday morning that the medication, named EXO-CD24, which is being tested at the hospital has shown promising results, with an estimated 95% effectiveness in treating the coronavirus.
The drug is designed to treat moderate and serious cases of the coronavirus, and is given to patients via inhalation directly into the lungs.
In the first stage of testing, 30 patients in serious or moderate condition were given EXO-CD24 and observed for changes to their condition.
Of the 30 test subjects, 29 showed significant improvement in the three to five days immediately after they received the medication.
The 30th subject also showed significant improvement, but after the initial five-day period.
Prof. Nadir Arber of Ichilov’s Integrated Cancer Prevention Center said the medication will serve an important role in combating the pandemic, even after the mass vaccination campaign is completed.
‘Even if the vaccines do their job, and even if there aren’t any new mutations, one way or another, the coronavirus will be staying with us. That’s why we developed this special medication: EXO-CD24. This is unprecedented. It’s been about half a year from the time the idea was hatched and the technologies created, to the first human trials conducted and phase one of testing completed.”
Source: Arutz Sheva
“A huge breakthrough’
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 — 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,” Arber said. “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.”
The medicine will now move on to further trial phases, but hospital officials were already hailing it as a possible game-changer in fighting serious COVID-19 illness.
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 1 trial are excellent and give us all confidence in the method [Arber] has been researching in his lab for many years.”
He added: “I am proud that at Ichilov we are… possibly bringing a blue and white remedy to a terrible global pandemic.”