Saudi Arabian university begins first phase of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials

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A university in Saudi Arabia has started the first phase of clinical trails for the production of a local COVID-19 vaccine with the support of the Kingdom’s Ministry of Education.

The Imam Abdul Rahman bin Faisal University began the trial this week after its vaccine proved its efficacy against the coronavirus, according to local media reports.

The university also signed a contact with one of the largest specialized companies in the United Kingdom and Sweden, and has been working with leading companies, such as AstraZeneca, to create enough doses for use in the first phase of the clinical trial.

The trial’s phases include: the fermentation phase, the risk assessment phase, the safety and quality of plasmid material phase, and the production of the first vaccine batch phase.

The university signed a separate contract with a center that specializes in conducting clinical trials, so that a research team can also prepare and supervise the project.

The center will also help provide volunteers to participate in the trial, as well as conduct all the tests necessary to assess the immunity levels provided by the vaccine.

The move comes as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to curb the COVID-19 outbreak. Saudi Arabia has so far reported 362,368 cases of the coronavirus and 6,415 virus-related deaths.

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