UAE announces scientific research partnership on Russian COVID-19 vaccine 'Sputnik V'
Al Ain: The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is supporting the clinical trial of the novel COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Russia.
The vaccine is the world's first registered vaccine based on a well-studied human adenoviral vector-based platform. Sputnik V is nearing the end of the clinical testing process with 40,000 volunteers currently involved in a phase III trial in Russia. Interim results have shown the vaccine has 92 per cent efficacy after the second dose.
Phase III trials have been announced in selected partner countries including the UAE, which has already recruited more than 500 volunteers.
The UAE trial is led by Dr. Ahmed Al Hammadi (Consultant in Infectious Diseases, Tawam Hospital) and supported by Dr. Basel Al Ramadi, Professor of Immunology and Chairman of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine & Health Sciences (CMHS), UAE University. Product Development Company (PDC) will be conducting the study in Al Ain with Pure Health managing the project. Volunteers in the UAE trial are receiving two doses of the vaccine three weeks apart at Tawam Hospital.
The volunteers will participate for a year and tested at regular intervals to determine how effective the vaccine is and how long it remains effective. Two of the laboratory tests will be conducted by UAEU scientists with other tests at Tawam hospital (SEHA) and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. UAEU will be the first university in the MENA region to study the vaccine and is expected to publish the results of the trial in international peer-reviewed journals.
A face-to-face meeting took place in Al Ain in November with all the partners including the Russian development team who presented detailed scientific background to the vaccine and early trial results to the group who met at the UAEU College of Medicine & Health Sciences. Prof. Basel Al Ramadi who chaired the meeting said, "We are excited to be part of this clinical trial and grateful for the support provided by CMHS and UAE University. The results of this clinical trial will provide important clues about the long-term immunogenicity and effectiveness of this vaccine."
The Gamaleya National Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology is named after Nikolai Gamaleya, a pioneer in Russian microbiology and has also developed vaccines against Ebola, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Influenza.
UAEU CMHS teaching programmes include an internationally recognised undergraduate medical degree (MBBS), which has now been converted to a 4-year graduate entry MD programme. In addition, the College offers several postgraduate degrees.
In conjunction with affiliated teaching hospitals, CMHS also provides higher professional training for physicians at certificate, diploma, clinical specialty training and membership/fellowship levels in major clinical disciplines. CMHS has formed an Emirates Health Service to assist in the development of clinical skills and the maintenance of competency for healthcare professionals. The service has provisions and support for licensing exams, continuing medical education (CME) and continuing professional development (CPD) events, and hospital management and clinical activities.