The patent covers a vaccine-making process that targets the most vulnerable point in a coronavirus’ structure, representing a key step for any new vaccine.

By Yakir Benzion
United With Israel –
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted a patent to Dr. Jonathan Gershoni of Tel Aviv University for an innovative vaccine design for the corona family of viruses, the university announced Sunday.

Gershoni, a professor of biology at the university’s School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, is one of the first to get a corona-related patent as researchers worldwide work overtime to develop potential vaccines and drugs to fight the pandemic.

Using Gershoni’s technique, the potential vaccine targets the novel coronavirus’s Achilles’ heel, its Receptor Binding Motif (RBM), a critical structure that enables the virus to bind to and infect a target cell.

According to Prof. Gershoni, the vaccine would reconstruct the coronavirus’s RBM, a tiny feature of its “spike” protein. Though the virus uses many different proteins to replicate and invade cells, the “spike” protein is the major surface protein that it uses to bind to a receptor — another protein that acts like a doorway into a human cell. After the spike protein binds to the human cell receptor, the viral membrane fuses with the human cell membrane, allowing the genome of the virus to enter human cells and begin infection.

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