The first phase of the clinical trial to test BriLife, the vaccine developed by the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), was launched at Sheba yesterday.
On November 1, Segev Harel, a 26-year old business administration student from Kibbutz Sde Nehemia, was the first human to be inoculated with IIBR’s BriLife vaccine at Sheba Medical Center. The experiment also took place simultaneously at Hadassah Medical Center, in Jerusalem.
“I consider it a great privilege to help and contribute,” said Harel. Prior to receiving the vaccine, Harel underwent a series of tests at Sheba.
With enthusiasm for this hallmark event, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Sheba to observe the experiment. He exclaimed, “I see light at the end of the tunnel. This will be the real way out of the crisis.”
Depending on how the first volunteers respond to the vaccine, the trial will be expanded to involve approximately 80 volunteers between 18-55 years old and is expected to last roughly one month. Currently, about 15 million shots are already being produced, with anticipation that the trial proceeds smoothly.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also attended and said, “This is a long process, and it will take time to analyze the data. Patience is required.”
In response to the trial, the Minister of Health, Yuli Edestein, expressed hope that “if we succeed in this current experiment, the State of Israel will not only be first in line, but will also be able to impact a genuine repair of the world in many other countries.”
Prof. Yitzhak Kreiss, Director of Sheba Medical Center stressed how Sheba’s job “is not only to care for patients, but also to always reach out in innovation, such as in the development of vaccines.”
At Sheba, the experimental research is conducted by: Prof. Dror Hertz, Vice President of Research and Development and Chairman of the Helsinki Committee; Prof. Galia Rahav, Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit and co-researcher in the experiment; Dr. Eitan Ben Ami, Director of the Early Clinical Research Unit; Avishag Hassid, director of research at the Early Research Unit.