A new report claims that nearly all COVID-19 patients taking part of a Phase II trial in Greece were discharged within five days or fewer, thanks to a "precision" drug developed by an Israeli team.
The Israeli developer of the lauded breakthrough drug is extremely confident after an 88-person hospital trial ended without a single patient being placed on a ventilator.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the next phase of the drug trial will include a test in which some participants will be given a placebo.
The patients were given the inhaled drug EXO-CD24.
"The main goal of this study was to verify that the drug is safe," Prof. Nadir Arber of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center said. "To this day we have not registered any significant side effect in any patient from both groups."
Because Israel did not have enough relevant patients, the trial was held in Athens. According to the report, the lead investigator was Greece's coronavirus commissioner, Prof. Sotiris Tsiodras.
The drug was produced by Arber and his team based on a molecule called CD24, which is naturally present in the body and has been studied by the professor for 25 years.
He emphasized that their treatment does not influence the immune system as a whole, but only this specific mechanism, assisting it in regaining its proper balance.
EXO-CD24 reduces the cytokine storm, which is the immune system's overstimulation, by acting precisely where the "fire" is.
"It's precision medicine," Arber said.
A report by Times of Israel mentioned, on the same day that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited with Arber and questioned him about his "miracle drug," the premier commended the drug to visiting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who offered that a Greek hospital perform a clinical trial.
The final phase of the trial would reportedly include 155 coronavirus patients. Two-thirds will be given the drug, while one-third will be given a placebo.
The research will be conducted in Israel, but it may potentially be completed in other locations if the number of patients in Israel is insufficient.
If the findings are confirmed, Arber promises that the treatment will be available relatively soon and at a low cost.