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Israel’s Covid drug EXO-CD24, subjected to Phase II trials in Athens, allowed 29 out of 30 moderate to severe patients to recover in up to 5 days. The Phase II trial confirmed the results of Phase I, conducted in Israel last winter.
About 93% of 90 patients with severe COVID-19 were treated with the novel Israeli medication produced by a team of researchers at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center in several Greek hospitals. The results of the Phase I study, which was conducted in Israel last winter, were confirmed in this Phase II experiment. More importantly, it was shown that 29 of 30 patients in moderate to severe condition recovered within five days or even less.
EXO-CD24 is now in its final phase of the research, with 155 patients participating. The medication will be given to two-thirds of the participants, while the rest will be given a placebo. By the end of this year, the Tel Aviv team of experts expects to have completed the whole cycle of study. EXO-CD24 success might also open the door for the effective treatment of a variety of other illnesses.
The medicine was developed by prof. Nadir Arber and his team, which included Dr. Shiran Shapira, and is based on a molecule that the professor has been studying for more than 20 years, also known as CD24, which is found naturally in the body, and regulates the mechanisms responsible for the cytokine storm, a factor chiefly responsible for the deterioration of the condition of people infected with the Sars-Cov-2. The syndrome describes the over-activation of the immune system that begins to attack the healthy cells of the patient’s lungs, while EXO-CD24 helps the body find balance, by targeting a key problem in developing Covid-19, while avoiding side effects.
Work on medicines for COVID-19 continues
Sanofi, the French pharmaceutical company is looking to buy U.S. biotech firm Translate Bio (TBIO.O), which is conducting drug research based on an mRNA protein used to make, among other things, vaccines against coronavirus. Sanofi is betting on next-generation mRNA technology after delays in research on a vaccine against Covid-19, Reuters reported. The French drugmaker reported in 2020 that its traditional protein-based vaccine against Covid-19, developed in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L), had shown insufficient immune response in older people, delaying its launch until the end of 2021.
The two companies have been working together since 2018, while in 2020 they joined forces to develop an mRNA-based vaccine against Covid-19. The results from Phase I/II clinical trials are expected in Q3 2021. Sanofi and Translate Bio are also exploring the possibility of producing mRNA vaccines against several infectious diseases and launched in June a Phase I trial evaluating a possible mRNA-based vaccine against seasonal influenza.