Abu Dhabi: An agreement with a Chinese medical team was done by UAE government to find an effective inoculation against the novel Covid-19 virus. The declaration was officially made in three functions set by the organizers at Abu Dhabi, Beijing and Wuhan over this week. The phase III of this trial, if successful, is going on to be the first Corona virus vaccine to be manufactured on a large scale by the Emirates.
The initiative is a partnership between China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Group 42 (G42), a UAE technology company. G42 will carry out the clinical work under the supervision of the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, said the partnership highlighted the UAE’s broad multifaceted approach to combating the virus. “The UAE will spare no effort in contributing to solutions to the current pandemic, solutions that will aid humanity’s ability to overcome the current pandemic,” he said.
Abdulrahman Al Owais, the UAE Minister of Health and Prevention, said “Now more than ever, nations needed to promote government and private sector partnerships to make progress. It is for this reason that the United Arab Emirates welcomes all contributions by countries of the world, innovative entities and creative individuals who are committed to creating opportunities for joint collaboration towards confronting the threat of Covid-19 and defeating this global pandemic”.
The phase I and phase II of this trial showed the development of antibodies in the infected patients with no serious adversary effects, which means the trial is a success so far. But the officials have not yet announced when would the first corona virus vaccination be started or the number of patients involved in the vaccination. G42 plays a very substantial role in this collaboration after they built the world’s second largest testing laboratory in Masdar city, Abu Dhabi. The lab is capable of testing 10,000 samples per day.
This corona virus vaccine – developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, which is linked to CNBG’s parent firm, Sinopharm – will be given in two doses. During the joint ceremonies, held on Tuesday, UAE officials issued approval certificates for the trials to Chinese government officials and senior CNBG figures. Dr Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, the UAE ambassador to China, said the partnership reflected the “spirit of cooperation envisioned by our respective leaderships”. The earlier clinical trials of the vaccine began in April and took place in Henan province in central China, involving 1,120 volunteers aged 18 to 59. Apart from this, China runs four more vaccination programmes.
Phase III trial
Phase III of a vaccination trials are conducted when a drug is found to be effective on a small number of people. The trial increases participants up to around 3,000, some of whom receive the medicine while others, part of a control group, do not. The patients are grouped randomly to these two groups. Further, the patients will not know which group they belong to. Even some of the researchers also will not be known about each person’s group; all this to stop the test result to be influenced. This is a double-blind trial.
Phase III trials often take place in multiple countries to ensure that a drug or vaccine is trialed on people who are genetically diverse. Usually Phase III happens over years but in Covid case, it is scheduled for months. If Phase III is a success, phase IV trial starts to test how long the immunity rendered by the vaccine lasts.