By Bernd Debusmann Jr
The trial is a partnership between Sinopharm's China National Biotec Group (CNBG), Abu Dhabi-based AI and cloud firm Group 42 and the Abu Dhabi Department of Health
Abu Dhabi has begun the world’s first World Health Organisation-listed Phase III trial of an inactivated vaccine to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, it was announced on Thursday.
The trial is a partnership between Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG), Abu Dhabi-based AI and cloud firm Group 42 and the Abu Dhabi Department of Health.
According to a statement, Department of Health chairman Sheikh Abdullah Mohammed Al Hamed was the first volunteer, followed by the department’s acting undersecretary, Dr. Jamal Al Kaabi.
The first two phases of the trial have already been conducted, which resulted in 100 percent of the volunteers generating antibodies after two doses in 28 days.
The trials are being operated by health practitioners from the Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA) at five clinics in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The phase III trials will be open to individual volunteers aged between 18 and 60 and will last for 42 days.
According to the participating organisations, the UAE was chosen because of the diverse nationalities of its residents, allowing for “robust research” across multiple ethnicities and increasing its feasibility for global applications.
The study, if successful, will be approved and accredited by the Ethics Committee for Scientific Research in Abu Dhabi.
“Our participation in this trial enables us to make a major contribution in the global fight to combat the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Nawal Ahmed Alkaabi, CMO and chairperson of the National Covid-19 clinical management committee.
“It is a matter of national pride that we are able to help facilitate the trial process that could have a worldwide impact and help people around the world to benefit from research and – if successful – the manufacture of a vaccine to fight back against this disease,” he added.
Now that the trials will commence, G42 and UAE health authorities plan to launch a public awareness campaign to encourage participation.