There is a reason that Hadassah is responsible for more than 50% of all hospital-based research in Israel.  It comes from a long history of advocacy where doctors are encouraged to bring their bedside experience to the research laboratory.

Hadassah’s footprint in the development of a novel drug known as Allocetra, suggests a giant step for Israel and medical science more generally.

Yair Tayeb, a patient who recovered from COVID-19 at Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, February 9, 2021.

A recent example shines a light on the efficacy of Hadassah’s decision to support the research ambitions of its medical staff. 

Prof Dror Mevorach, head of one of Hadassah’s coronavirus wards and chief scientific and medical officer at Israeli company, Enlivex Therapeutics, is behind an exciting new Israeli-made drug called Allocetra.

Enlivex Therapeutics Ltd., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, recently completed Phase 2 trials of the drug.

Prof Dror Mevorach, who developed the treatment, said, “It is useful for serious and critical patients because it can prevent the need to ventilate them, and that’s the major goal.

“The moment you go into ventilation, the entire situation changes, complications rise and it’s more difficult to treat.”

Of 20 seriously-ill patients treated with the drug so far, 90% recovered.  Allocetra treats the over-response of the immune system and inflammatory response that is sometimes seen in COVID-19 patients, called a cytokine storm.

The phenomenon can cause severe immune system attacks on the body’s own organs, leading to organ failure and sometimes death.

One recovered patient described his desperate condition on being admitted to hospital.  He said, “I couldn’t breathe, I could barely speak!”  Within two hours of receiving Allocetra, he said, “I stopped coughing, my breathing started to come back.  I stopped sweating.  I was afraid to tell people I was okay, I was so excited!”

Allocetra is now entering Phase 3 trials and will be given to over 100 people.