Brazilian officials arrived in Israel to meet with government counterparts to discuss novel ways to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. On the radar: the Israeli-developed nasal spray known as EXO-CD24 targeting COVID-19 that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has deemed a “miracle” treatment. Now one would hope that world leaders would have learned a lesson about making any such claims about any drug or therapy targeting the novel coronavirus, but given perhaps north of $200 billion in revenue is possible for drug producers over the next handful of years, unfortunately people in high places apparently inadvertently make a slip. The Brazilian group included Ernesto Araujo, Foreign Minister and Eduardo Bolsonaro, chair of the Congress’ Foreign Affairs Committee—who also happens to be the son of President Jair Bolsonaro can enter the nation of Israel with no quarantine despite the requirement that all else go through this process due to fear of the Brazilian COVID-19 variant.
As reported in Ynet, the Brazilian delegation will be required to confinement at the hotel for the duration of the visit except for actual meetings with the Israeli Prime Minister and Gabi Ashkenazi, Foreign Minister of Israel at the Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign Ministry facility.
Developed at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, the experimental treatment is known as EXO-CD24, which TrialSite reported on recently.
A novel cancer drug known as EXO-CD24 developed and tested at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital), demonstrates promising results. Led by Professor Nadir Arber, a study was the result of “out-of-the-box thinking” that led to an overwhelmingly positive outcome for this investigational product. The researchers here shared last week that 29 out of 30 patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 that participated in this study involving the study drug EXO-CD24 recovered within three to five days. This early-stage Phase 1 safety trial investigating EXO-CD24 has created a buzz in Israel research circles and beyond as the Prime Minister paid the investigators a visit.
As reported recently in The Times of Israel, a prominent Israeli health and research system hasn’t declared whether a placebo was used with a control group in the EXO-CD24 study. Moreover, no findings have yet to be published in any peer-reviewed scientific journal. Typically for an investigational treatment to be deemed acceptable as medical evidence, the product must undergo not only randomized, controlled blinded trials but also the results must be scrutinized by other scientists with the results published in reputable scientific or medical journal(s).
Brazil Seeks EUA
Apparently, according to a statement by Jair Bolsonaro declared last month, the Brazilian government would seek an emergency use authorization for the novel treatment developed in Israel. The Brazilian president has been critical of lockdowns and has pursued anti-malaria drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine. In parts of Brazil, local or regional health authorities have also used ivermectin as a treatment for early onset COVID-19.
Call to Action: TrialSite will monitor this unfolding situation between Brazil and Israel.