The medicine’s name is a combination of the Hebrew word for health and the English word “life”.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Israel’s vaccine against the deadly Covid-19 virus will begin human trials by the end of the month, Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced Monday.
The vaccine’s developer, the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), has named the potential life-saver Brilife. It is a combination of the Hebrew word for health, “bri’ut,” Israel’s domain name, “il,” and “life.”
“We are at a very significant moment,” Gantz said after visiting the research center. “Prof. Shapira and the entire [IIBR] team have done fantastic work. They are the scientific vanguard of the State of Israel and they have brought this vaccine to the stage where we can soon begin trials on human beings.”
“If this process succeeds, it will be great news for the State of Israel and maybe for all nations of the world,” he added.
Israel’s contender for the most sought-after vaccine in the world is behind four pharmaceutical giants, three American and one British, that have already begun Phase 3 trials with tens of thousands of volunteers. There are also five vaccines reportedly being mass-tested in China and one in Russia.
Third-stage testing is the final step before regulatory approval.
Israel is also at the forefront in developing on-the-spot tests for the virus that would finally free the world economy by bringing business back to normal and resuming air travel safely. Israel’s ambassador to New Delhi, Ron Malka, told Indian news agency PTI on October 10 that a joint Israeli-Indian team has developed a 30-second coronavirus detection test that should be ready in a matter of weeks.
Meanwhile, Sheba Medical Center researchers are creating a one-second saliva test, and two different breath tests that show results in seconds are in the works. One was adapted by Prof. Hossam Haick at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology from his recent invention, called NaNose.
NaNose can instantly confirm diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and is currently undergoing regulatory testing. The second breathalyzer is at an initial stage of development at Scentech Medical, a local start-up working with NextGen Biomed, an Israeli pharmaceutical company.