Israel’s COVID Vaccine Works Against Delta Variant: New Data

New research by the Israel Biological Research Institute has shown that the Israeli Brilife vaccine is effective against the Delta variant, TThe Jerusalem Post Has confirmed.
Specifically, neutralizing antibody tests performed in the IIBR laboratory showed that the antibodies in the vaccine maintain their neutralizing ability against the four main viral strains: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.

The data has been peer-reviewed by a leading scientific journal. The Institute said it could not discuss the data until the report has been accepted for publication.

NeuroRx CEO Dr. Jonathan Javitt confirmed that he had seen the data. He said IIBR gave him permission to discuss it.

In July, the Defense Ministry announced that it had signed an agreement with NRx on behalf of IIBR to help accelerate Israel’s BriLife vaccine. The US company, which is listed on Nasdaq, received exclusive development, manufacturing and marketing rights worldwide.

According to Javitt, the lab had access to blood serum from vaccinated patients who were found to have developed antibodies. In the lab, the researchers were able to check whether these samples had the same antibodies against the Delta variant and found that they did.

The efficacy of mRNA vaccines that have been largely administered in Israel to date were found to decline after approximately four to six months and that they had been less potent against the highly infectious Delta variant. Israel embarked on a third-shot campaign that slowed the infection once again, managing to remain open even as the variant circulated throughout Israel.

So far, more than four million Israelis have been vaccinated with a third injection. There is no new research yet on how long the booster will work, but health officials wait between six months and a year.

The Brilife vaccine, on the other hand, is a vector-based vaccine. It takes the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and genetically manipulates it to express the spike protein of the new coronavirus in its envelope.

Once injected, it does not cause disease on its own. VSV does not harm humans; Instead, the body recognizes the spike protein that is expressed in the envelope and begins to develop an immune response. Initially, the vaccine will be administered by traditional injection.

A BRILIFE COVID-19 vaccine at Jerusalem Hadassah University Medical Center during trials last year. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI / FLASH90)

“The BriLife vaccine differs from other COVID-19 vaccines by presenting all of the COVID-19 spike protein to the body’s immune system,” NRx explained in a statement in August. “It also differs from other approaches to the COVID-19 vaccine in that it is a self-propagating live virus vaccine in which the vaccine protein appears to evolve in a manner consistent with the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in nature.

“Thus, while variants may emerge that support manual spiking of the vaccine against those specific variants, the vaccine itself may continue to evolve in a way that provides continued protection against the variants,” the statement said.

Javitt said there are reasons to be “optimistic” that the Brilife vaccine has the potential to be long-lasting in terms of its protection against new variants as they arrive and long-lasting in terms of the immunity it confers.

Israel has already completed the dosing of participants in a phase II clinical trial of Brilife. About 450 people received a high dose or a maximum dose of the vaccine, which appears to be optimal and effective. The rest of the approximately 900 participants received doses that were too low and were recommended to receive a Pfizer vaccine.

The Jerusalem Post I also learned on Sunday that preliminary data taken about a month ago from this Phase II trial that was taking place at Sheba Medical Center, Hadassah University Medical Center, and other hospitals across the country had so far shown Amazing results: only five of around 250 patients who could be tested at that time had contracted the virus, four of them had received a placebo.

When asked about the data, Prof. reported, but did not reflect the main objectives of the trial: safety and immune response.

“This is a partial and premature data and we must be very careful,” emphasized Caraco. “The sample was at a certain time and since then there has been more data.”

But he added that “it still looks great.”

He said the data is expected to be fully reviewed and released sometime next month.

NRx planned to launch a Phase II placebo study in Georgia, but that study had to be switched to a Phase II / III registry study, meaning one that will not compare the Brilife vaccine to a placebo, but to an already licensed vaccine . This is called a non-inferiority study.

The study has already benefited from input from the World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency. The company is awaiting launch after December 2, when a meeting of the Ministry of Health’s independent safety monitoring committee is meant to review data from Israel’s phase II trial and confirm that the vaccine has a good safety determination. .

Javitt said that Israel will also participate in this registry study.

“There is a significant population of adults in Israel who have refused to receive mRNA vaccines and many of those people have called our study sites and volunteered to be part of the study,” he said.

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