The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the emirate, and mRNA Victoria, representing the State of Victoria in Australia, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) to advance the global RNA ecosystem and further develop treatments related to COVID-19.
In the presence of H.E Abdulla Bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi and Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, The Governor of Victoria in the State of Victoria, the MoU was signed by H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of DoH and by Mr. Michael Kapel, Chief Executive Officer, mRNA Victoria.
The two entities will identify areas of interest related to RNA research while initiating academic collaborations and knowledge exchange as well as identifying early-stage research investment opportunities. RNA is a nucleic acid present in all living cells that acts as a messenger carrying instructions from DNA. The collaboration will explore clinical trial opportunities and private sector investment opportunities in both Abu Dhabi and the State of Victoria.
Abu Dhabi enforced its position as a life science hub and has been recognised for its leading response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The collaboration with the State of Victoria is one of many that are aimed at elevating the healthcare sector through building capabilities and ensuring preparedness.
With a focus on the development of a robust RNA ecosystem, both parties will be able to identify prospective partners and collaborate with organisations seeking to develop and license RNA-based therapeutics as well as manufacturing innovative treatments. Furthermore, the agreement seeks to form a steering committee represented by members from DoH and the mRNA department in Victoria to ensure alignment, effective execution and implementation.
H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of DoH, said: “Under the guidance of our wise leadership, Abu Dhabi registered a successful track record in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Department of Health – Abu Dhabi continues to work towards adopting innovative treatment and breakthrough solutions in the UAE to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community. As a result of the tremendous efforts of stakeholders and entities across Abu Dhabi’s health ecosystem, the Department has been successful in reinforcing the capital’s position as a life sciences hub and epicentre for innovative healthcare.”
Al Kaabi added: “We are always open to forward-thinking and innovative collaborations with leading global partners, such as the State of Victoria, Australia. With the signing of this MoU with the State of Victoria, we look forward to seeing the fruit of our collaboration when it comes to advancements in mRNA-based therapeutics research and strengthening the capabilities of the international healthcare system so that we are better prepared for future pandemics and health crises.”
Hon. Jaala Pulford, Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Government of Victoria said: “Victoria continues to lead the way in mRNA biotechnology and this MoU signifies a global collaboration to share knowledge, information and expertise within the ecosystem supporting supply chains research and development for pre and clinical research, commercialisation and manufacturing investments.”
“This collaborative MoU with Department of Health in Abu Dhabi reinforces the Victorian Government’s commitment to establish a world-class Victorian mRNA and RNA industry, and by engaging internationally it ensures Victoria is established as an AsiaPac regional hub for the next generation mRNA broad-based therapeutics.” Pulford added.
Abu Dhabi doubled its research capabilities during the past year and developed several scientific and clinical and research that exceeded the number of projects conducted during the previous five years. DoH also launched the “COVID-19 Research Registry” as a unified platform that supports scientific research and accelerates the pace of innovations and discoveries related to COVID-19. Till date, the registry has received 386 scientific papers where 340 papers have been approved and 46 papers have been published.