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DoH receives over 206 scientific research projects since launch of Research Registry for COVID-19

The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, DoH, has received more than 206 scientific research projects since the launch of the National Registry for COVID-19, which was developed in coordination with the Advanced Technology Research Council, to support research and development, R&D, efforts for scientific discoveries in the fight against COVID-19.

The research projects submitted are evaluated and approved based on international practices and reviewed within a week from the submission date by the Abu Dhabi COVID-19 Institutional Review Committee Board, working around the clock. As of now, 174 research studies have been approved, thirteen of which have been completed and are undergoing the publication process.

The research focused on a variety of different topics, of which 76 research studies primarily drew attention to tackling fundamental basic research questions in the transmission of the virus and showcasing state-of-the-art diagnostics as the centre of their attention. In comparison, 88 research studies focused mainly on the epidemiology of the virus and 18 studies concentrated on COVID-19 treatment, management and new drugs to be tested.

Dr. Asma Al Mannaei, Director of Healthcare Quality Division at DoH, said, “The Research Registry for COVID-19 has served as a solid foundation for researchers and professionals working to combat the pandemic. We have received myriad promising research projects that will boost rapid scientific discovery and innovation to help defeat the virus. These projects will have a tangible impact on improving the delivery of high-quality healthcare to patients with the direct results of the research process, create automation and become the flagship for medical research in the region and worldwide.”

Among the studies that have been reviewed, are a couple of clinical trials, to prove the effectiveness of internationally-used medications to treat COVID-19 and to find a possible vaccine against it through the virus’ DNA or the formation of antibodies against the virus. The clinical trials being conducted in Abu Dhabi are the world’s first stage three clinical trials of COVID-19 inactivated vaccine.

The Registry’s support for these projects come in many folds, including avoiding duplication of projects and redundancy of research activities, allowing experts to focus on the main objectives behind each research project. The platform ensures consolidation of research efforts, which will have more data, and, as a result, be more impactful in making scientific claims, eventually, helping the decision-makers in their strategic direction. In addition to that, the research Registry allows several departments and entities to engage in a spirit of collaboration where better projects are proposed, and more reliable data can be collected.

The DoH is exploring ways of collaboration with healthcare and academic institutions to support the COVID-19 research projects, including SEHA, Mubadala Healthcare, King’s College Hospital London, Zayed Military Hospital, as well as UAE University, Khalifa University and New York University Abu Dhabi. On a global scale, the DoH is collaborating and working alongside major international organisations to support the research projects being conducted in the Emirate including Harvard University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Monash University, The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona and Sanofi, a global biopharmaceutical company.

The DoH also is actively participating alongside DHA in the National IRB for COVID-19 research that was established by the Ministry of Health and Prevention.

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