The world’s first mini clinical trial for a passive coronavirus vaccine formulated from antibodies was a success, with the first three patients treated with it recovering within days and released from the hospital.
Three coronavirus patients whose conditions worsened due to the development of pneumonia were treated with the passive coronavirus vaccine at Hadassah Medical Center and all fully recovered, the hospital announced on Thursday. The patients comprised the first “batch” in the trail, which is treating 12 patients in batches.
“The response was, in my eyes, it was almost a miracle — they received it and they are now home,” said Hadassah director Prof. Zeev Rothstein. “I don’t know if it’s beginners’ luck, but we are very enthusiastic. For a physician to see such an improvement in a very short period of time is astonishing.”
“If trials show the efficiency we expect, it won’t only improve patients’ situation but could raise hope regarding the coronavirus in Israel and in the world,” Rotstein asserted.
The Israeli Kamada biopharmaceutical company is the first company in the world to produce a coronavirus drug from antibodies and is now the first company in the world to conduct clinical trials for the passive vaccine, Kamada CEO Amir London said.
The drug was developed by Kamada in cooperation with Hadassah by using antibody-rich plasma from recovered coronavirus patients. Many Chareidim who contracted the coronavirus during the first wave donated their plasma to Hadassah with the encouragement of the Jerusalem Beis Din and Eidah Chareidis and the assistance of the Chareidi medical organization Yad Avraham.
The passive vaccine, which could also be termed a medication, is being used for coronavirus patients who develop complications such as pneumonia but could also be used prophylactically for high-risk patients who contract COVID-19.
Hadassah has been administering the plasma through Israel’s compassionate use program and meanwhile, Kamada is conducting Phase 1/2 clinical trials to enable the plasma to be officially used as a COVID-19 treatment in Israel and potentially worldwide.