Head of Abu Dhabi’s health department becomes first volunteer for Covid-19 Phase III vaccine trials
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Head of Abu Dhabi’s health department becomes first volunteer for Covid-19 Phase III vaccine trials

Head of Abu Dhabi’s health department becomes first volunteer for Covid-19 Phase III vaccine trials

A total of 15,000 volunteers are required to participate in the trials

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DOH), became the world’s first individual to be the subject of a Phase III inactivated vaccine trial for Covid-19.

The department’s acting undersecretary, Dr. Jamal Al Kaabi, was the second volunteer to trial the vaccine.

The first group of volunteers including UAE nationals and expatriates received the vaccine at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City today.

The world’s first Phase III trial is being conducted as a partnership between Abu Dhabi based G42 Healthcare, and Sinopharm CNBG, the world’s sixth largest vaccine manufacturer.

Health authorities in the UAE recently issued a permit for up to 15,000 volunteers to take part in the trials.

G42 Healthcare and Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA) have combined forces to ensure a minimum of 5,000 people participate in the first stage of the programme within the UAE.

G42 Healthcare and the local health authorities in the UAE will shortly launch a public awareness campaign to encourage UAE residents to participate in this trial.

Read: UAE to begin Covid-19 vaccine trials with 15,000 volunteers

SEHA is providing facilities at five of its sites in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, in addition to a mobile clinic, to ensure the trials are readily accessible to volunteers who wish to participate.

The clinical trials are being conducted under the strict supervision of the DOH and SEHA and will follow all international guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Food & Drug Authority (USFDA).

The study, if successful, will be approved and accredited by the Ethics Committee for Scientific Research in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, paving the way for the vaccine to enter the market by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

The phase III clinical trial follows the success of the phase I and phase II trials conducted by Sinopharm in China, which resulted in 100 per cent of the volunteers generating antibodies after two doses in 28 days.

The phase III trials will be open to individual volunteers aged between 18 and 60 living in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and will last for three to six months, with the volunteers required to be available for followups during this time, said a statement issued by G42 Healthcare.

“Using our AI solutions, super-computer, advanced diagnostics solutions for Covid-19, G42 Healthcare is uniquely postured to conduct these trials. G42 Healthcare will be responsible for running clinical operations for this trial. We will be leveraging our group’s technical and our own business capabilities to: compute, correlate and provide fast and synthesized insights by deploying multiple AI models on the data generated during the trials to accelerate the much-awaited results. G42 Healthcare will be mobilising the logistical management of the trials taking in learnings from its proven capabilities in CRO management, clinical sites initiations and other E2E programme management activities,” said G42 Healthcare CEO Ashish Koshy.

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