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The King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre (KAIMRC), in collaboration with the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute has started a Phase I clinical trial in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for a vaccine against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

The trial will be the first Phase I clinical trial ever to be conducted in the KSA and will provide valuable clinical data. The trial is a collaboration between the Jenner Institute and the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. MERS-CoV causes an emerging zoonotic (transmitted from animals to humans) viral respiratory disease that was first described in 2012 and is now endemic in KSA. MERS-CoV infection can be asymptomatic or can result in severe acute respiratory distress and death. 

MERS-CoV has spread to different countries in the Middle East and other regions with 2458 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection including 851 deaths in 27 countries reported, as of September 2019. MERS-CoV poses a significant threat to public health security based on its epidemic potential and lack of currently available effective countermeasures and has been listed as a priority pathogen for research and development by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health agencies around the globe.

Read more (University of Oxford)

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