Egypt has conducted the highest number of clinical trials in the Middle East and Africa to find an effective drug for the treatment of COVID-19, according to a statement by Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar on Tuesday.
The minister said in the statement that Egypt conducted 22 trials out of a total of 30 carried out in Africa and 44 in Middle Eastern countries.
According to Abdel-Ghaffar, Egypt has conducted more trials than Iran, Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.
The Egyptian universities that took part in these experiments were Ain Shams University, Cairo University, Assiut University, Tanta University, Kafr El-Sheikh University, Zagazig University, Al-Azhar University, in addition to the National Research Center.
Citing American database ClinicalTrials.gov, the minister said Egypt is now ranked among the world’s top 10 countries in terms of the number of coronavirus clinical trials conducted.
Earlier, Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Friday that five weeks ago Egypt requested the antiviral drug Remdesivir, which the US Food and Drug Administration had approved for emergency use.
Also last week, the health ministry said it had started trials on plasma collected from donors who recovered from the coronavirus to test whether plasma can be an effective treatment for patients who are severely ill with the disease.
Research findings will be shared with international bodies and published in international medical journals, said Khaled Megahed, the health ministry’s spokesman.
Egypt has joined 100 countries thus far in the World Health Organisation (WHO) solidarity clinical trial to find a treatment for COVID-19.
The WHO, along with other partners, launched an international clinical trial in mid-March to examine a number of drugs to treat the disease.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic last December, the contagious disease has infected more than 3.6 million people globally and killed more than 252,000 people.