Researchers at two Israeli hospitals are reporting positive results in preliminary tests for a potential cure to COVID-19.
At the Integrated Cancer Prevention Center at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, Professor Nadir Arber has been testing a new drug called EXO-CD24, which he claimed is an inexpensive treatment for the novel coronavirus, if it is taken daily for five consecutive days.
According to Ynet news, Arber has so far found the drug to be impressively effective, with 29 of the 30 patients he tested it on dismissed from the hospital within 3 days, though it was not specified how serious their conditions were before taking the drug.
At Jerusalem’s Hadassah medical center, doctors have been testing another potential cure on patients in critical condition. The drug, Allocetra, was first developed by the hospital’s Research Center for Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, to deal with overactive immune systems that cause increased secretion of cytokine, a protein responsible for several of the immune system’s functions.
They found that 19 of the 21 patients it was tested on showed improvement in less than a week.
While the results may be promising, with barely 50 test cases between the two drugs, the actual effectiveness of either is far from confirmed.
In contrast, nearly 50,000 people participated in the third phase of the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine’s trial before the drug was cleared for public use. No placebo tests were used by either hospital meaning there is no way of knowing whether or not the patients’ recoveries were l due to the drug or may have come about on their own.
It also wouldn’t be the first time Israeli medical researchers have made bold claims at very early stages but failed to produce significant results down the line.
In January 2019, researchers at an Israel start up claimed that they would have a cure for cancer — yes, all cancer — within a year.
Two years on, cancer still kills nearly 10 million people a year.
The announcement was widely panned by oncologists and other cancer researchers who said that all the claim did was create false hope in cancer patients and their families who may already be inundated with offers of experimental treatments much of which range from ineffective to simply scams.
Whether either or both of the two coronavirus treatments will meet the same fate and fizzle out or lead to real results in widespread testing remains to be seen.
Professor Arber has appealed to Israel’s health ministry for permission to begin further testing, Ynet reported.