Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met today with Israeli Professor Nadir Arber, the formulator of a new treatment for Covid-19, developed by the Ichilov Medical Centre in Tel Aviv. During the meeting at Maximos Mansion, which was also attended by Professor Sotiris Tsiodras and the Alternate Minister of Health Vasilis Kontozamanis, they discussed the start of clinical trials in Greece to test the Israeli drug, which will be used to treat severe complications caused by the disease.
The trials will be initially conducted in three hospital departments, two in “Sotiria” hospital and one in “Attikon” general university hospital.
Today’s meeting follows the Prime Minister’s discussion with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, during his visit to Jerusalem on February 8. Mr Mitsotakis expressed then Greece’s intention to join the clinical studies -an intent expressed by several other countries as well. On the day following the meeting of the two leaders, Professor Sotiris Tsiodras talked to Professor Nadir Arber on the phone.
In today’s meeting at Maximos Mansion the participants also discussed issues pertaining to a broader collaboration in the biotechnology sector. At the start of the meeting Professor Arber conveyed Mr Netanyahu’s best regards to Mr Mitsotakis.
At the start of the meeting the following conversation took place:
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: So tell me, how are things going with the project?
Sotiris Tsiodras: It is an exciting project. It involves a new delivery method, called exosomes. Basically nanoparticles that deliver substances inside the cells. It’s been tested in Israel. A new delivery method. It has been very promising in the recent tests in Israel and we will continue with the formal Phase 2 study here in Greece that will test safety, dosing and efficacy at the same time.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: In how many hospitals?
Sotiris Tsiodras: We have three on board at the moment, three departments of Medicine. We have two departments in “Sotiria” and one in “Attikon”. And based on the Phase 2 studies we are hoping to expand this to an international Phase 3 study under the coordination of Professor Arber, who is the great mind behind this invention.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Very happy to have you here. And I remember this discussion came about during the meeting I had with Prime Minister Netanyahu. I asked him because I had read in the newspapers about the very impressive results from the Phase 1 trial. And he said “I’ll call the Professor immediately.” So, he called you and here we are now. I am very, very happy that we are going to be cooperating, to hopefully prove in the Phase 2 trial that the drug works miracles.
Nadir Arber: Yes, we discussed this; we have to be humble and modest, but we are full of excitement. I came here because it was important to me to see with my own eyes the people, especially, and then the facility. I was impressed. You have outstanding physicians and people whom I can trust, and this is very important.