Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital) is using a new treatment for Covid-19 patients and claimed that it successfully treated 29 out of 30 moderate-to-severe cases during a phase I trial.
According to reports, these patients recovered from the disease and were released from the hospital within three to five days. The 30th patient also recovered from Covid-19, but took longer, the hospital said.
Covid-19 Cure Found?
The trial patients were given EXO-CD24 Covid-19 treatment, developed by Prof. Nadir Arber, who is the head of Integrated Cancer Prevention Center at the medical center. The new treatment is based on the CD24-enriched and is aimed to fight against the cytokine storm, which is associated with many of the Covid-19 deaths around the world.
Dr. Shiran Shapira, who works in Prof. Arber's lab, said: "This protein is located on the surface of cells and has a well-known and important role in regulating the immune system."
According to the developer of the treatment, it took almost six months from the time the idea of using this treatment in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 infection was raised until it was first tested in humans. The treatment is given once a day for a few minutes at a time for five days.
Arber explained that the treatment directly targets the lungs, the site of the cytokine storm. A majority of patients showed significant improvement within two days of inhaling EXO-CD24. The hospital is now seeking approval from Israel's health ministry to move forward with further trial.
Arber said that this is an innovative treatment that can produce quick and effective results at a low cost. "Even if the vaccines do what they are supposed to, and even if no new mutations are produced, then still, in one way or another, coronavirus will remain with us," he added.
The head of the medical center, Prof. Ronni Gamzu, who served as Israel's coronavirus commissioner from August to November 2020, said that the new treatment is not only innovative but also sophisticated. He added that the results of the Phase I trial have given an expression of confidence in the method.
Gamzu also said that he will personally assist Arber in obtaining the approvals required for the Health Ministry to conduct further research. However, according to reports, this is the first Israeli drug that showed promise in terms of treating Covid-19 patients.