Busy with his election campaign on the eve of the March 23 elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied the agenda of the Brazilian delegation visiting Israel.
Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo is reportedly received by the prime minister on Tuesday (9), but, after several changes, he was suddenly summoned for a brief meeting on Monday (8).
The change ended up postponing the main engagement of the Brazilian delegation during the one-day trip: a meeting with representatives of the Sourasky Medical Center – known as the Ichilov Hospital – in Tel Aviv, to discuss the adoption, in Brazil, of a nasal spray. against the coronavirus.
The drug EXO-CD24 was announced in early February and tested on 30 seriously ill volunteers hospitalized in Ichilov. According to the hospital, 29 patients recovered within 3 to 5 days.
However, there are still no results published in a Phase 1 scientific paper, which is not expected to be concluded until March 25, according to the International Clinical Trials Database, which collects data on drug experiences, diagnostics and vaccines with people around the world. The Brazilian government wants to sign an agreement to carry out phases 2 and 3 of the tests with nasal spray in Brazil.
In this initial phase of research, the safety of a drug for a specific disease is assessed, even if the drug is already tested and approved for another disease. EXO-CD24 is already used to specifically treat ovarian cancer.
“Phase 1 is done with a small number of people, usually in the dozens, to test for dosage and toxicity. There is no problem at this stage to test whether the drug is working, ”explains Natália Pasternak, microbiologist at USP.
Netanyahu received Ernesto and MP Eduardo Bolsonaro, Bolsonaro’s son, for a few minutes just before 11 a.m. local time. For Folha, the Brazilian Chancellor praised the partnership between the two countries and described the meeting as excellent.
Eduardo Bolsonaro posted photos from the meeting, in which he appears to deliver a letter from his father to Netanyahu. Everyone wore a mask, but the MP left his nose uncovered – which has happened on several occasions since arriving in Israel. Son 03 also met the son of Israeli Prime Minister Yair, who is known to have sometimes aggressively defended his father on social media.
In his Twitter account, Eduardo says he worked on the image of Brazil in the conversation with Yair.
The Brazilian delegation also had a meeting with representatives of Israel’s Ministry of Health at the five-star hotel where they are staying, King David, Israel’s most traditional and famous.
All working meetings are held on site due to pandemic restrictions. Visitors were only able to leave to be received on Sunday (7) by Israeli Chancellor Gabi Ashkenazi and the Prime Minister. All meetings take place with the mandatory use of masks.
In order to receive the Brazilian delegation, the government of Israel demanded that all members follow health protocols involving PCR tests before take-off and upon arrival at the hotel. Members of the entourage will have to follow the health restrictions of the country, which is gradually emerging from a third five-week lockout (December 27 to February 7) and a few days of curfew during the Purim holidays (25 to December 25). February 28). It is mandatory, for example, to use masks anywhere, including buildings and public places, with a fine of up to NIS 500 (around R $ 865).
For the Secretary of Research and Scientific Training of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Marcelo Morales, Brazil is not only researching Israeli technology, but also bringing Brazilian developments to Israel. One of the problems, for example, was cooperation on national vaccines.
“They [os israelenses] are at the same stage of vaccine development as we are. It is very important that we can join forces to develop more vaccines. Thinking of changes, it is a question of national sovereignty. Because this virus is here to stay, ”Morales said, adding that Brazil could have a national vaccine at the end of this year or early next year.
Despite the optimism, the hamster tests carried out by Fiocruz, which is linked to the Ministry of Health, have just started and will continue to be tested on non-human primates. The Butantan Institute, of the government of São Paulo, has projects in the preclinical phase and others in the previous stages.
According to a report from the Ministry of Health, updated on November 30, 2020, 16 research projects for the development of a vaccine are underway in the country – all in the preclinical phase, when tests are carried out on cells or animals. . On the WHO list of vaccines under development, however, only three Brazilian projects were registered as of early January.
In the afternoon, the Brazilian delegation met with representatives of the Israel Space Agency. The main topic discussed was Brazil’s participation in the launch of the Israeli spacecraft Bereshit 2 to the moon in 2024.
The first probe, the Bereshit, was sent into space in April. But due to an engine failure, he fell and broke. The cooperation was still closed in Brazil, during a meeting between the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations, Marcos Pontes, and the former Israeli ambassador to Brazil, Yossi Shelley, in February.