Thursday, June 25, 2020 – The UAE announced the commencement of the world's first Phase III clinical trial of a COVID-19 inactivated vaccine. Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Group 42 (G42), an Abu Dhabi-based AI and cloud computing company, signed a clinical cooperation agreement, with G42 to lead the clinical trial operations in the country under the supervision of the Department of Health (DoH) – Abu Dhabi. G42 and Sinopharm CNBG aim to develop a vaccine that is market-ready by the end of 2020 or early 2021.
According to Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of DoH – Abu Dhabi, the partnership reflects the country’s “broad, multifaceted approach to combating the virus, which includes innovative research into effective treatments, enhanced testing capabilities, and continuous cooperation with the international community.”
The United Arab Emirates, through H.E. Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health & Prevention, stated its openness to welcome contributions by other countries, entities and individuals to confront the threat of COVID-19 and defeat the global pandemic. “Now more than ever, nations need to work in close partnership between the government and private sectors to create new initiatives, launch programs, develop policies, drive rigorous research, and develop capacity.”
Sinopharm CNBG Inactivated Vaccine
Sinopharm's vaccine already passed Phases I and II clinical trials without showing any serious adverse reactions, with 100% of the volunteers generating antibodies after two doses in 28 days.
The clinical trial process is usually divided into three phases. Phase I primarily studies the safety of the vaccine. Phase II evaluates immunogenicity and explores the immunization process in a limited number of individuals. Phase III considers the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in a larger population sample. If a vaccine is confirmed safe and effective throughout the entire clinical trial process, the test is considered successful, and the vaccine can now be manufactured on a large or commercial scale.