UAE starts Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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UAE COVID-19 Vaccine Trials
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UAE’s Abu Dhabi has begun the world’s first WHO-listed Phase III clinical trial of the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine with Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi being the first to engage in the trial.

He is expected to be followed by Acting Undersecretary Dr. Jamal Al Kaabi

The trial is organized in a collaboration between the world’s sixth-largest vaccine manufacturer, Chinese pharmaceutical group Sinopharm CNBG and Abu Dhabi-based company G42 Healthcare under the administration of the Department of Health and the Ministry of Health.

The aim of the association is to help provide quick access to the vaccine for UAE residents, with production taking place in Abu Dhabi.

Phase 3 trials that are expected to last for 3-6 months will be open to individual volunteers aged between 18 and 60 who are living in Abu Dhabi or Al Ain. Sinopharm moved into Phase 3 after the success of Phase I and Phase II trials which were conducted in China. The trials resulted in 100 percent of volunteers generating antibodies after two doses in 28 days.

The UAE was the preferred choice for Phase III trials by the pharma firm due to the diverse population of 200+ nationalities. This allows for research across multiple ethnicities, thereby increasing its feasibility for global application eventually.

Close to 15,000 volunteers have been permitted by the UAE Health Authorities to take part in the trials. G42 Healthcare and SEHA are working towards achieving a minimum of 5,000 participants in the first stage of the program to ensure the robustness of the results.