Over 1,000 Israeli COVID vaccine vials in Georgia for Phase II trial

Over 1,000 Israeli COVID vaccine vials in Georgia for Phase II trial


The Defense Ministry announced Sunday that over 1,000 vials of Israel’s BriLife coronavirus vaccine were delivered to Georgia over the weekend to kick off an expansion of the second phase of its clinical trial, as reported by The Jerusalem Post last week. 

The vaccine has been developed by the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) based on over ten years of research on the SARS virus, which belongs to the same family of pathogens of COVID-19.

The IIBR operates under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Office and works closely with the Defense Ministry.

Last month, the institute signed a memorandum of understanding with the US based pharmaceutical company NRx to complete its second phase clinical trial in Georgia, Ukraine and Israel, prepare the necessary regulatory files in order to continue the clinical trials and conduct its third phase, as well as eventually take care of manufacturing and commercial aspects.

The development of the vaccine has been plagued by delays for over a year. The original hope was to have it available by this summer.

NRx chairman Prof. Jonathan Javitt told The Jerusalem Post last week is that currently, the goal is to start the third phase of the clinical trial in October.

According to the statement by the Defense Ministry, the trials in Georgia will take place while the recruitment of volunteers and completion of the second phase of clinical trials occur in Israel.

BriLife is a vector-based vaccine. The vaccine takes the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and genetically engineers it so that it will express the spike protein of the novel coronavirus on its envelope.

Once injected, it does not cause disease by itself. VSV does not infect humans; instead, the body recognizes the spike protein that is expressed on the envelope and begins to develop an immunological response.

“As the Delta and subsequent variants continue to threaten the immunity generated by first-generation vaccines, we hope that this new vector-based approach may offer enhanced immunity,” Javitt said.


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Sasha Terry