Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine seeks nod for clinical trials

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A research team at the Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University in Saudi Arabia has succeeded in producing the first Saudi vaccine against the coronavirus after its preclinical studies were concluded pending clinical trials once approved.

The research team is led by Dr. Iman Al-Mansour, an assistant professor at the university with a doctorate in biomedical engineering and biotechnology from the University of Massachusetts.

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“The vaccine was developed using pDNA vaccination technology, indicating that DNA vaccines provide several advantages, including its ability to stimulate humoral and cellular immunity, as well as its ease of transport and storage. It also has high stability as it does not require transporting it under very low temperature,” al-Mansour said in a statement to the al-Yaum newspaper.

“It is expected that after conducting clinical trials, the safety of the vaccine will be secured through several stages separately, and the first stage includes the safety of vaccine tests after its effectiveness until its completion, and each stage has an evaluation to know the success rate, and each stage paves the way for future studies, and after the success of all studies it is licensed after several months,” she added.

Currently, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education is financing the project led by al-Mansour and her team at the Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC) linked with the Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University.

Al-Mansour confirmed to Arab News newspaper that clinical trials would begin as soon as “the proper approvals had been given.”

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