The Secretive Israeli Company Developing A Vaccine For Coronavirus

by | May 6, 2020

Shortly after a message to Israelis on May 4 by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Defense Ministry announced that the Israel Institute For Biological Research (IIBR) had identified a monoclonal antibody that neutralizes the coronavirus. This would be an important discovery since it could lead to a broad treatment for coronavirus disease. The Israel Institute For Biological Research is also working to develop a vaccine for coronavirus and has secured a sight for Israels first vaccine production facility in the southern town of Yeroham. The company is seeking funding from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is negotiating for a third partner with a pharmaceutical company from India and the Unites States.

But, what is the IIBR?  According to a report at The Jerusalem Post:

Like Israel’s nuclear facility in Dimona, the IIBR operates under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Office and works closely with the Defense Ministry. Most of the work carried out by the secretive institute is a heavily guarded secret reinforced by military censorship. But its history began before the founding of the State of Israel. 

Prof. Shmuel C. Shapira, an anesthesiologist by training, has headed it since 2013. The IIBR employs some 350 people, including about 160 scientists with doctorates in biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, pharmacology, mathematics, physics and environmental science. There are another 160 technicians and administrative staff.

It continues to be viewed by the defense establishment as one of the country’s most secretive defense installations. The public rarely knows what goes on behind the highly guarded walls of the institute.

Though it has expanded its research, according to foreign publications, the institute is still involved in developing biological and chemical weapons.

And, it has a shady past:

In 1983, the deputy director of the IIBR, Marcus Klingberg, was arrested along with his wife for passing the institute’s secrets to the Soviets. Klingberg, who was regarded as one of the world’s most-respected epidemiologists and an expert on top-secret biological and chemical research, was one of the founding members of the IIBR after he served in HEMED BEIT.

During his 30 years at the institute, he was questioned twice by security officials (in 1965 and 1976) but was only arrested close to a decade later. His arrest was kept secret until 1993.He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, including 10 years in solitary confinement, before he was released in 2003. He died in 2015 in Paris.

While the majority of the case remains classified, according to foreign reports, it is believed that he gave the Soviets some of Israel’s most sensitive military secrets in the field of CBW.

In 1992, an El Al transport plane carrying some 189 liters of dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), a dual-use chemical used in the production of Sarin nerve gas, crashed in Amsterdam, killing more than 40 people. The DMMP was designated for the IIBR, according to The New York Times.

“Since 1995, the institute has operated as a government-affiliated unit that researches all areas of defense against chemical and biological weapons, including the operation of national laboratories for detection and identification of such threats,” the institute says on its website.

During the “Omer-2” project, some 760 soldiers served as guinea pigs over the course of eight years in the 1990s as the country worked to develop a vaccine against anthrax. The project, headed by Dr. Avigdor Shafferman (who later became the director general of the IIBR), was carried out in cooperation with the Defense Ministry and the IDF Medical Corps.

Troops were injected with up to seven doses of the vaccine but were not informed of the risks of being infected with the deadly disease.

In 2007, dozens of soldiers were interviewed by Israel’s Uvda television show. They suffered from medical conditions such as skin tumors, intestinal and digestive issues, severe lung infections, serious migraines, bronchitis, epilepsy and feelings of constant tiredness and weakness.

According to a 2011 report in Haaretz, the soldiers from the military’s elite Unit 8200, paratroopers and others “participated in these experiments, in complete contravention of the Helsinki Accords, which established rules for medical experiments on human subjects.”

While the exposure of the project sparked a massive public uproar and saw army regulations for conducting trials on human subjects tightened, Shafferman and others involved were not prosecuted, Haaretz reported.

The institute also was reported to be behind the poison injected into senior Hamas official Khaled Mashaal in Amman, Jordan, in 1997. Israel admitted to the failed assassination attempt and provided the serum that saved his life in return for the Mossad agents who had been captured.  The antidote, which was originally meant for Israeli operatives should they come into contact with the poison, was allegedly developed at the IIBR.

The company has also secured $12 million funding from the Israeli VC Fund OurCrowd. Just so happens that OurCrowd has a convenient connection to the Trump administration.

Trumps ex-mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt announced February, 2020 that he would be joining OurCrowd as a Business Developer for the region:

2020 05 06 16 44

OurCrowd said the former attorney for Donald Trump will be acting as a partner responsible for “building ties with the Middle East region.”

Greenblatt was the architect of Trump’s recently unveiled Mideast plan that largely favored Israel. He worked as the White House’s special representative for international negotiations until resigning in October 2019.

And, you can be sure of this:

OurCrowd’s founder Jon Medved said in a statement that he expects Greenblatt’s addition “to open up a new world of opportunities for our growing portfolio of 200+ companies and 20 funds.”

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