News and Events

Possible COVID Breakthrough: Israeli Ministry of Health Approves Extension of Israeli Drug Trial at Rambam Medical Center to Other Israel Hospitals

Publication Date: 8/12/2021 10:30 AM | by: Rambam

The Ministry of Health’s decision ensued from the results of a clinical trial that began in January of this year at Rambam Health Care Campus. The data is encouraging: 14 out of 16 COVID-19 patients who received the new drug were released home. Rambam’s clinical trial leader stressed that ““with this drug, the chance of saving seriously ill patients increases dramatically.”

3D rendering of healthy fat cells, making up the tissue from which mesenchymal cells are extracted.3D rendering of healthy fat cells, making up the tissue from which mesenchymal cells are extracted.

An Israeli breakthrough? The Israeli Ministry of Health confirmed on Wednesday, August 11, that hospitals will begin treating critically ill COVID-19 patients with a new Israeli drug called “MesenCure“ manufactured by Bonus BioGroup. The decision was made after recent clinical trials with the experimental drug at Rambam, with good results: 14 out of 16 seriously ill COVID-19 patients treated with the drug were discharged from the hospital.

Treatment with MesenCure lasts for four days. Rambam reported that most patients were released to their homes just one day after completing it. Although initial results regarding MesenCure have been previously reported, the breaking news is that, in light of the positive response to the new drug, the Ministry of Health has approved expansion of the clinical trial to involve more Israeli hospitals. The additional hospitals that will join the trial will be announced shortly.

Dr. Shadi Hamoud, who led the clinical trial at Rambam, told N12 TV: “This is a real breakthrough, because from our experience, if difficult patients are treated promptly, the chance of saving them increases dramatically with this drug. I am convinced that at least some of the patients we treated with the new drug would have died without it.”

What IS MesenCure?

The Ministry of Health explains that the drug is made from mesenchymal cells, which are extracted from the fat tissue of healthy donors. The activity of the mesenchymal cells is designed to increase the efficiency of the patient's body cells while maintaining their safety. Once injected into the patient's body, the mesenchymal cells travel to the lungs and work to reduce the inflammation caused by the coronavirus. The drug also plays a role in tissue regeneration and relief of respiratory symptoms.

The MensenCure clinical trial started on January 20, 2021 and is registered on the ClinicalTrials.gov website (Identifier NCT04716998).

Read more in this article published in the Jerusalem Post.