Overseen by DOH – Abu Dhabi, SEHA COLLABORATES WITH G42 HEALTHCARE TO CONDUCT THE PHASE III TRIAL OF COVID-19 VACCINE
24 Jul, 2020: • The program aims to attract 15,000 volunteers to receive an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine as part of the Phase III clinical trial to combat the pandemic
• The program is overseen by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) has announced its collaboration with the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, G42 Healthcare, a subsidiary of Group 42, an Abu Dhabi-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cloud Computing company, and Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm CNBG, the developer of the vaccine. The partnership will facilitate the third phase of clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine. The development of the vaccine is part of the UAE's wise leadership's commitment to overcome the pandemic through a global collaborative effort.
Abu Dhabi has joined international efforts to find a vaccine, underscoring the government's focus on identifying a potential cure to one of mankind's biggest challenges of the 21st Century.
His Excellency Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Acting Undersecretary, Department of Health - Abu Dhabi commented: "The UAE is a beacon of humanity, and home to a very diverse community. These elements have made the UAE one of the most important places to conduct the trial and is aligned with our leadership's key role in addressing the global pandemic's effects in many corners of the world."
"I am very pleased with the response from the UAE community in joining together to overcome the virus. A large number of volunteers, consisting of 20 different nationalities, have come forward to be part of the clinical trials. This will help demonstrate that the trials have a high chance of efficacy and show the vaccine's effects across a wide range of demographics." he added.
Dr. Nawal Al-Kaabi, Executive Medical Director, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, and Chair of the National Clinical Committee for COVID-19, said: "The UAE's leadership has enabled us as a country to be at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, through the provision of various health care resources and initiatives to finally arrive at a vaccine for COVID-19. The UAE's government recently called on the community to participate in the vaccine trials, which was a pivotal moment in promoting the safety of the trials. The campaign not only helps in combatting COVID-19 but will provide a highly effective approach to measuring the vaccine's effects. The initiative is a true testament to the UAE's ongoing legacy of achievements and will go down in the history books of tremendous contributions to the global medicine."
"A team of specialist medical practitioners from SEHA, our strategic partner, will be managing and involved in conducting the clinical trials. All trials will be administered at dedicated centers equipped to accommodate the volunteers, which include citizens, residents of all nationalities and both sexes." she added.
The number of volunteers grows with every passing day and has now exceeded 10,000 individuals. For those interested in participating in the trials, the first step is to register on the website at www.4humanity.ae. Volunteers will undergo a medical evaluation of their current health to determine their eligibility for the trials according to global health policies and study guidelines. Existing conditions or chronic diseases may exclude volunteers entirely from the trial program, especially if they were previously infected with COVID-19. Following the clearance of the volunteer's health, the first dose of the vaccine is administered at one of the available locations.
From here on out, volunteers will be intensively monitored for approximately 42 days, requiring a minimum of 17 visits to the testing center. During this time, the individual will be required to not travel outside the country and will need to have easy access to the clinics. After this period, periodic follow ups will be conducted via teleconsultation for up to 6 months.
A team of scientists will then analyze the results as part of the trial's progression.
SEHA, Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, and G42 Healthcare aim to conduct the trial on 15,000 volunteers with about 5,000 volunteers in the initial phase. This approach will enable the partners to closely monitor the success rate of the program. The UAE is a preferred destination for the vaccine's trials as it is home to 200 different nationalities enabling the evaluation of its efficacy on different races. This helps assess the vaccine's safety, efficacy and effectiveness of implementing it internationally.
All trials are conducted under the close supervision and management of the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi. The entire process is implemented using medical and safety guidelines outlined by the Research Ethics Committee - Abu Dhabi, the WHO, and Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA). These entities will be involved in the approval of the entire clinical study.
Meet the volunteers
Hamad Al Balushi, a citizen of the UAE has expressed his joy in being one of the first successful volunteers chosen to undergo the vaccine's trial. He hopes that the entire process is highly successful to benefit both the UAE and global communities. Hamad has expressed his gratitude to SEHA and the entire team involved, and prays for their success.
Another volunteer from Oman, has shared a beautiful message of solidarity with the UAE saying, "The UAE's government and its people have shown us all the importance of doing good for all of humanity. I am very proud to be one of the first volunteers in this historic trial and invite all my brothers and sisters to join me. I would like to thank Abu Dhabi's entire health care sector for its tireless work in maintaining the safety of the community, and development of this vaccine which will benefit people of the world. I pray to God that we continue raising the UAE's flag high."
The third phase of the clinical trial follows the success of the first and second trials in China. In the UAE, to be eligible for the trial, volunteers must be healthy and between the ages of 18-60 and are residents of Abu Dhabi or Al Ain.
The program is a cooperation between the UAE's health sector and G42 Healthcare, which is at the forefront of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. The Abu Dhabi-based company is a subsidiary of Group 42, an Abu Dhabi-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cloud Computing company. Sinopharm CNBG is world's sixth biggest vaccine manufacturer and occupied the 169th place on Fortune 500's global list of companies in 2018.