According to The Jerusalem Post, the Phase II trial for an Israeli drug in the fight against COVID-19 saw some 29 patients out of 30, moderate to severe, recover from the illness within days.

About 93 percent of 90 patients with severe COVID-19 were treated in various Greek hospitals with the new Israeli drug developed by a team of researchers at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center, as part of the said trial of the treatment within days.

This Phase II trial verified the Phase I results, which was carried out in Israel last winter. More saw, it found 29 of 30 patients in moderate in severe condition recover in just a few days.

Clinical Deterioration

According to Professor Nadir Aber, the study’s main objective was to confirm the safety of the use of the drug, as indicated in the US National Library of Medicine. To this day, he added, they have not registered any substantial side effects in any COVID-19 patient from both groups.

The Phase II trial was done in Athens as Israel did not have enough appropriate patients. The principal investigator was the coronavirus commissioner of Greece, Prof. Sotiris Tsiodras.

Arber, together with his team, including Dr. Shiran Shapira, developed a COVID-19 drug based on a molecule that the professor has been examining for more than two decades, also known as CD24, which naturally exists in the body.

The professor explained, it is important to remember that out of 20 COVID-19 patients, 19 of them don’t require any treatment. After a five- to 12-day window, roughly five percent of the patients begin to deteriorate.

Aber also said the main reason for the clinical deterioration is excessive immune system stimulation, also called a cytokine storm.

In the COVID-19 patients, the system begins to attack healthy cells in the lungs, which is exactly the problem the new Israeli drug is targeting, explained Aber.

CD24 Molecule

As specified in this report, CD24 is a tiny protein attached to the cells’ membrane. It serves a lot of functions that include controlling the mechanism responsible for the cytokine storm.

Arber highlighted that their COVID-19 treatment, EXO-CD24, is not affecting the immune system in general, although it only targets the specific mechanism, helping search again for its right balance.

This isn’t the first time this protein type is described and introduced as a medical breakthrough. Earlier on, in February this year, Medical Advise mentioned in an article that EXO-CD24 has been investigated as a treatment for ovarian cancer. However, doctors realized it had potential in combating the pandemic by using it for COVID-19.

The professor said, one breakthrough element of this COVID-19 treatment is its delivery. He explained that they are employing exosomes, very tiny vesicles derived from the cells’ membrane, responsible for the information exchange between them.

Many side effects are avoided by managing to deliver the drug exactly in the sites they are needed. Currently, the team is all set for the launch of its last phase of the study.

More than 150 COVID-19 patients will partake in the study. Two-thirds of these participants will be given the drug, and one-third will be provided with a placebo.

The research will be carried out in Israel, and it might also be conducted in other areas if the number of infected patients in the country will not be enough.