The President of the Arabian Gulf University, Dr. Khalid bin Abdulrahman Alohaly, highly valued the generous initiative of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, may God protect him, for providing the best health services and achieving comprehensive health coverage, as well as for his direct support in developing the health services system and seeking the best treatment solutions for various prevalent diseases based on the results of clinical research.
Dr. Alohaly praised the directive of His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince, to provide the drug "Crizanlizumab", which contributes to reducing the pain and attacks among patients of sickle cell disease in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and to include it in the treatment protocol after completing the necessary clinical trials and medical studies. Dr. Alohaly also stressed the confidence of His Highness the Prime Minister in using this drug as a therapeutic drug. According to Dr. Alohaly, this is a great incentive to make more progress and show advancement in the field of clinical research at the Arabian Gulf University which has employed research in the past years to find therapeutic solutions that alleviate the suffering of sickle cell disease patients in Bahrain.
Dr. Alohaly explained, “the directive of His Highness the Crown Prince is a badge of pride and honor for the University's efforts and role in the clinical trials of the drug "Crizanlizumab". Over the past 18 months, the research team at the Clinical Research Center at the Arabian Gulf University in partnership with Novartis and the principal investigator at the Medical Center for Genetic Blood Diseases at Bahrain's Ministry of Health conducted a collaborative initiative to successfully plan and implement the second phase of clinical trials to study the effect of a new drug and assess its effectiveness in controlling kidney damage in sickle cell disease patients."
After the successful completion of the first international clinical trial in partnership with Karolinska Institute. and developing the experience gained by researchers at the Ministry of Health, Novartis proposed, based on that experience, cooperation, and partnership draft with the Clinical Research Center and the research team at the Genetic Blood Diseases Center. As part of this partnership, the University requested to include the team in the Kingdom of Bahrain in the second phase of the international clinical experience under the leadership, supervision, and support of the Clinical Research Center at the Arabian Gulf University.
In the same context, Dr. AlOhaly praised the trust and support of officials in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the cooperation of the University's partners in the success of previous clinical trials, led by the Supreme Council of Health, the Ministry of Health, the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA), the Board of Trustees of Government Hospitals, and the supporting bodies, considering this cooperation a “real partnership in every sense of the word". Indeed, the partnership was crucial to the success of the clinical research experience at the Arabian Gulf University
The President of the University stressed the keenness of the Arabian Gulf University to develop the Bahraini and Gulf competencies as well as capabilities to meet the national and Gulf needs for leadership in clinical research. Therefore, the University continues its efforts to build international cooperation relations with leading scientific research institutions and giant pharmaceutical companies to serve the interests and needs of the countries and societies of the Arab Gulf states Dr. Alohaly also pointed out that the Arabian Gulf University has made progress in gaining the trust of scientific research institutions and international companies that have strengthened their cooperation with the University in the field of clinical research during the past few years.
In the context of these efforts aimed at addressing the strategic health issues of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which are headed by sickler disease, the research team conducted a comprehensive review and evaluation of the scientific merits of the proposed study protocol to explore the risks that patients may be exposed to. The research team also examined the resource requirements necessary for the success of the research project. In addition, the team sought to obtain the necessary approvals from the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) and the Research Ethics Committee at the Ministry of Health, where the new drug known as “Crizanlizumab" manufactured by Novartis, was recently approved to be marketable after meeting the conditions by the US Food and Drug Administration, followed by the Kingdom of Bahrain, the United Kingdom, and a number of other countries for adopting it in the treatment of painful vaso-occlusive crisis in patients with sickle cell disease.
In this regard, the Director of the Clinical Research Center at the Arabian Gulf University, Dr. Adel Madkour, explained that the scientists and researchers responsible for the clinical studies of this drug made sure of its ability to manage pain in patients, and at the same time, according to data and clinical experience, they reached to affirm the ability of this drug in preventing further damage to the kidneys of patients who suffer from sickle cell disease, which indicates safe efficacy in the world.
Dr. Madkour also pointed out that the Clinical Research Center and the research team at the Genetic Blood Diseases Center at Salmaniya Medical Complex will work at the present time to prepare for the clinical trial, which is expected to last for two years, while the Clinical Research Center at the Arabian Gulf University and Novartis are working on developing a broader collaboration and partnership agreement to conduct additional clinical research to improve the study and meet the clinical needs of patients.
Additionally, Dr. Madkour stated, “Since the establishment of the Clinical Research Center, AGU has made great efforts to train researchers, ethics committee members, and research support staff, and has worked closely with the Sickle Cell Society to educate patients about the need for clinical care and actively participate in conducting research trials. The University has also comparably worked to demystify the feasibility and objectives of clinical research and worked in various ways to encourage patients to participate in clinical trials, and obtained, in record time, the trust of patients volunteering in research receiving international appreciation from international partners for the University's excellence and its commitment to helping patients and reducing their suffering."