Covid vaccine trials
Volunteers for the UAE trial will be medically supervised for 90 days after taking the vaccine. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: Phase III clinical trials of an adenovirus-based vaccine will commence in the UAE.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, is partnering with Aurugulf Health Investment, on the UAE trials of the vaccine, which was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

The trials will be conducted by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, under the supervision of the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, with medical protocols handled by Abu Dhabi’s public health provider, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, SEHA.

The UAE trials form part of the third phase of the trial, in line with trials taking place in Russia and elsewhere globally.

Results from the first two stages of the trial were published in leading medical journal The Lancet and showed a stable humoral and cellular immune response had been achieved in 100 percent of volunteers, with no serious adverse events recorded.

Conducted in line with the highest international standards, volunteers for the UAE trial will be medically supervised for 90 days after taking the vaccine.

Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health and Prevention said: "The UAE is committed to the global fight against COVID-19. We are pleased to support this process and welcome partnerships between UAE organisations and international players to enable promising solutions and progress."

Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said, "hosting a second Phase III COVID-19 vaccine trials in Abu Dhabi reaffirms our enduring commitment to collaborating on global solutions to the challenges this pandemic has presented.

"Thanks to our world-class healthcare infrastructure, the strength of our research ecosystem, and the community’s spirit of volunteerism, Abu Dhabi is an attractive prospect for those seeking to advance scientific discovery.

Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev said: "The UAE has demonstrated one of the most advanced approaches in the world to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are pleased to commence the trials and we look forward to announcing in due course the registration process for volunteers.

"As part of the Phase III trials of the vaccine, we are planning to expand in several other countries over the coming months, and we are delighted that Abu Dhabi will be the first place in which we do so in the Middle East."

The results of the trials will be combined with the results of trials in Russia and other countries, in which volunteers are participating. The interim results will be released before the end of November.