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A scientist from Tel Aviv University received approval for a patent he submitted for a corona vaccine

The unique method, developed by Prof. Johnny Gershoni, is based on attacking the most vulnerable point of the virus - the site where it binds to the human cell in order to penetrate it. The patent was approved in the USA in March 2020

Prof. Johnny Gershoni. Photo: Tel Aviv University spokesperson
Prof. Johnny Gershoni. Photo: Tel Aviv University spokesperson

Prof. Johnny Gershoni from the School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology in the Faculty of Life Sciences of Tel Aviv University recently received approval from the United States Patent Authority for a patent on an innovative vaccine for viruses from the Corona family. The vaccine is based on hitting the 'Achilles heel' of the virus: a region of the virus's coat protein called RBM, through which the virus binds to the receptor in the human cell in order to penetrate it. The patent was approved in March 2020.

"I have been studying the interaction between viruses and their receptors in human cells for more than 35 years," says Prof. Gershoni. "In 2004, at the end of the SARS epidemic, we began to study the virus that caused it, and later we also studied the MERS virus - both are viruses of the corona family. Based on these studies, we developed a vaccination method that may be particularly effective, and we even issued a patent. The new coronavirus SARS CoV2, the cause of COVID-19, found us ready. In a short time we will be able to adapt our approach as a platform for developing an innovative and effective vaccine for Corona."

The innovation in the vaccination method developed by Prof. Gershoni is the possibility of focusing the immune response on the most sensitive and vulnerable point of the virus. "The principle of operation of vaccines, as a rule, is that they cause the immune system to develop antibodies that recognize the virus or a part of it, bind to it and bind to it; In this way, the antibody blocks the virus and prevents it from binding to the cells in the body and infecting them," explains Prof. Gershoni, "Today, in the global effort to develop a vaccine for Corona, researchers are focusing on the envelope protein of the Corona virus, whose role is to pave the way for penetration into human cells. The assumption is that antibodies that the body will produce as a result of the vaccination will settle on the envelope protein and neutralize the virus. The vaccine we are developing will provide the immune system with a more focused target, thus increasing the effectiveness of the vaccine."

Prof. Gershoni explains that the coat protein that most studies deal with is a large protein that includes about 1,200 amino acids. Some of the researchers narrowed their work to a region in the protein called S1, which contains about 650 amino acids, and others were able to focus on a region of about 200 amino acids known as the RBD (Receptor Binding Domain). The problem is that these large areas include a variety of targets, the immune system produces antibodies for all of them without diagnosis - and the spread reduces the effectiveness of the vaccine. In addition, in the experiments they conducted with the SARS and MERS viruses, they found that when the target area on which the antibodies are deposited is too large, the virus develops smart strategies that allow it to evade the antibodies, and may even make the disease worse.

Corona viruses in the bloodstream. Illustration: shutterstock
Corona viruses in the bloodstream. Illustration: shutterstock

"Focus on the weak point of the virus"

"Therefore, the more we narrow the target and focus the attack, the more effective the vaccine will be," states Prof. Gershoni. "Inside the RBD there is an even smaller region, of about 50 amino acids, called the RBM (Receptor Binding Motif - and it is the exact site that recognizes and binds the receptor on the human cell, in order to penetrate it and carry out infection. The RBM is the weak point of The virus, without it there is no infection, so the virus takes far-reaching measures to hide from the human immune system. The best way to 'win the war' is to develop a vaccine that specifically targets RBM."

In previous studies dealing with the SARS and MERS viruses, Prof. Gershoni and his group were able to overcome complex technical challenges to isolate and reconstruct the RBM region of the virus - an essential step on the way to developing a vaccine. Now they are adapting the technology they developed against the new coronavirus SARS CoV2, the cause of the corona disease (COVID-19). For this development, the university's application company "Ramot" applied for a patent in the USA and it is currently in the examination process.

"In 15 years of research, we have built a solid foundation for developing a vaccine for the current corona, based on the experience we acquired in developing RBM for the SARS and MERS viruses," Prof. Gershoni concludes. "Further on, we intend, through the Ramot company, to transfer the technology to industry, for the development and mass production of a vaccine that will neutralize the threat of the corona virus throughout the world."

More of the topic in Hayadan:

14 תגובות

  1. Eld who doesn't understand this
    I really died...
    Will or won't be.

  2. The word "luck" consists of the letters: M = Z = L.
    m for "place", g for "time", and the letter l for "to be"

    to prof. Honorable Gershoni, apart from his genius in the field of molecular biology of the cell, was probably also lucky, as he has the luck of being the right man, in the right place, and at the right time.

    All the best for the honorable achievement of Prof. Gershoni and the entire team that works with him.

    Mordechai ben Haim Shugarman, Israel Kachh in Nisan 22 4/20/XNUMX


  3. I have a question please
    The RBM that the virus has, isn't it also found naturally in our body? Otherwise, why would we have such receptors in our body?
    What is the chance that such a vaccine will cause an autoimmune disease? (I think it's high, but of course only in clinical trials will you know the real number, so even an estimate will suffice for the time being)

  4. It says the patent was approved in March and is also currently under examination.
    Is it possible that at least the journalistic information will be unambiguous?

  5. Accelerators rush to register patents in an emergency, when there are still years of development and experiments. More than to help humanity, the goal is to make their home. He might get rich, but he won't win the Nobel Prize or be remembered in history as the exterminator of the Corona virus, because it's purely a commercial relationship. There will also be other immune solutions. Maybe even before.

  6. Liair There is no vaccine. This is quite basic research that is very far from creating a vaccine let alone FDA approvals

  7. Even the best footballer in the world is not worth much when he arrives at the stadium after the final whistle.
    "35 years of experience"

  8. Professor Johnny Gershoni
    Align power
    The world owes you, "its life"

    Act fast, and spread the vaccine (RBM) all over the world
    Without distinction, race, sex, or religion

    That this vaccine will be Pioneer (Payoneer)
    Also to eradicate Ebola and AIDS, which are rampant in Africa

  9. BDL is working on a project with a group of researchers from different fields. I have a feeling that they will show up and that they are going to claim their pound.
    Prof. Gershoni does not mention a single research colleague and this gives me the feeling that he did his act by theft.

  10. After the Biological Institute "developed" a vaccine and the Migel Institute developed a vaccine, now it is Tel Aviv University's turn to "open up" a vaccine...

  11. What about conducting experiments and obtaining approvals from authorized agencies (mainly - FDA)?

  12. It is not clear what stage the vaccine is in, is everything ready and it's just a matter of production?

    How complicated would the mass creation of the development be?
    What will the production rate be?

    Vaccines are needed that have a tremendous production rate and a convenient shelf life for work

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