JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Hadassah hospital reported this week that its experimental treatment based on plasma taken from the blood of recovered coronavirus patients has proved successful in curing the virus in critically ill patients. On Wednesday, a fifth patient who had been termed critically ill was released home after receiving the experimental treatment and recovering completely from the virus.

The treatment is the first of its kind in the world and Hadassah CEO Prof. Zev Rothstein announced that “Hadassah continues to lead the way in medical innovations.” The plasma was taken from Chareidi patients who had recovered from the virus in conjunction with the Yad Avraham and Refuah Ve’Simcha organizations which succeeded in recruiting hundreds of volunteers to donate plasma- a procedure which takes a few hours.

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The new treatment involves a  drug, called Alostra which was developed on the basis of research by Professor Dror Mevorach, director of the Internal Medicine department and the Coronavirus department at Hadassah. Mevorach collaborated with the biotechnology company Analybex Therapeutics to produce the drug, which has also proved successful in experimental treatment of patients with sepsis, which is considered an incurable condition.

Professor Mevorach said that “Alostra is intended for the treatment of a wide range of cases in which there is overactivity of the immune system, which leads to an increase in the secretion of proteins by immune system cells – called cytokines, thus causing a cytokine storm,” Prof. Mevorach explained. “It works by treating cells taken from a healthy donor in the laboratory in such a way that when injected into the patient’s body, they curb the inflammation or cytokine storm which is very harmful to patients.”

Hadassah CEO Prof. Ze’ev Rothstein welcomed the progress. “Despite the war taking place around and the intensive preparations to absorb the growing numbers of critically ill patients, Hadassah continues to innovate and lead the breakthroughs in the treatment of these coronavirus patients. We are happy that a drug developed in our hospital demonstrates therapeutic potential in these patients.

“I hope that even those who must do their part in maintaining the budget and cash flow of the hospital system in the country will finally wake up and help us help the public at this time.”