Professor Nadir Arber, the Israeli inventor of a potentially “miracle drug” against the novel coronavirus, has spoken to Kathimerini about this new promising treatment.
The EXO-CD24 substance, developed by Arber at the Ichilov Medical Centre in Tel Aviv, successfully completed its first phase of clinical trials last Friday.
"The main focus of my lab is cancer – one of the ways that cancer cells evade the immune system is by expressing CD-24,” he told Kathimerini. “This gave the idea that we could actually have the perfect drug, because we have a way to suppress the immune system.”
The medicine fights a potentially lethal immune system overreaction called the “cytokine storm.” Scientists believe the reaction is responsible for many coronavirus-related deaths.
“This is exactly when we would like to intervene in order to prevent this deterioration,” he said. “We know how to isolate these exosomes, to concentrate them and force them to express the CD-24.”
The treatment was administered to 30 patients with moderate-to-severe symptoms of Covid-19. Twenty-nine of them recovered in up to five days.
“In all of them the drug was very safe with not even the slight side-effects,” he explains, adding that the big advantage of this drug is that it can be produced “effectively, efficiently, rapidly and cheaply.”
During a recent visit to Israel, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis offered to have a hospital in Greece take part in clinical trials.