The Israel Institute for Biological Research has filed patent requests for eight types of coronavirus antibodies that it has isolated, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Friday. The antibodies will be used for the development of a future drug to treat the disease caused by COVID-19.Bennett said he was briefed on the development by Shmuel Shapira, who heads IIBR’s Ness Ziona facility. He called the move “another important step in developing a cure. IIBR is working around the clock to find a life-saving solution.”Earlier this month, the Defense Ministry revealed that IIBR had completed a groundbreaking scientific development, identifying an antibody that neutralizes the coronavirus, a development that Bennett called “a major breakthrough.” That scientific breakthrough had three key parameters: The antibody is monoclonal, new and refined, and contains an exceptionally low proportion of harmful proteins; the institute has demonstrated the ability of the antibody to neutralize the novel coronavirus; and the antibody was specifically tested on the aggressive coronavirus.“Based on comprehensive scientific publications from around the globe, it appears that the IIBR is the first institution to achieve a scientific breakthrough that meets all three of the aforementioned parameters simultaneously,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement on behalf of the institute.Last month, IIBR announced it had begun testing a COVID-19 vaccine prototype on rodents, after the institute was personally asked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to join the fight against the pandemic in early February.The institute is also involved in plasma collection from people who have recovered from being infected with the new coronavirus in the hope that this might help research. IIBR operates under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Office and works closely with the Defense Ministry. Most of its work is guarded and under military censorship.