The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the emirate, announced a new collaboration with Pfizer, one of the world’s premier biopharmaceutical companies, with the aim to develop national competencies and clinical research capacity in Abu Dhabi. The collaboration reflects the emirate’s vision related to the health and safety of the local community and reinforces Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading research and innovation hub in life science in the region.

In the presence of H.E. Abdulla bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of DoH and Sean Murphy, Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy, a Declaration of Collaboration between the two entities was signed by H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of DoH and Lindsey Dietschi, Gulf Cluster Lead.

The mutual agreement will focus on developing clinical trials conduct and enhancing research efforts and medical processes in the emirate. Pfizer will support DoH in establishing a training curriculum that’s specialised in advancing the early phase of clinical trials and drug development programmes. The collaboration reflects the emirate's continuous efforts to upgrade the digital health system and foster innovation in healthcare.

Through this collaboration, Pfizer seeks to train up to 150 clinical researchers who will also have an opportunity of research mentorship support by Pfizer research partner within two  years supporting DoH aim of reaching 500 qualified clinical researchers by 2025 through various collaborations and initiatives.

H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of DoH, said: “Under our wise leadership, DoH is committed to positioning Abu Dhabi as an incubator for innovation in the field of life sciences and as a leading healthcare destination in the world. We do this by providing a legislative environment that attracts and motivates research and innovation in healthcare, enhancing the means of cooperation that join Abu Dhabi with global partners, and continuing to roll out promising clinical trials and research projects.”

Al Kaabi added: “We are excited for our collaboration with Pfizer which focus on conducting safe and efficient early-stage clinical trials based on international guidelines and global best practices. The partnership contributes to developing our expertise and advancing our capabilities in the UAE which positively impact the health and well-being of individuals worldwide.”

Experts will conduct the training courses from Pfizer, academic institutions and other specialised partners. Participants will receive training in technologies and artificial intelligence tools that accelerate the drug discovery process.

Lindsey Dietschi, Gulf Cluster Lead, said: “Abu Dhabi established a robust and sustainable world-class healthcare system that fosters innovation in research and development of processes. We believe in the vision of Abu Dhabi that aims to deliver more medical breakthroughs and ensure healthier communities. We are delighted to have achieved this partnership with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi in effort to drive innovative research and development in the emirate. We look forward to working together with our partners to help equip local researchers with the skills required to conduct early-stage clinical trials.”

For over 40 years, Pfizer has been working as an innovation leader across the Gulf in partnership with healthcare professionals, communities and governments, to change the lives of millions of people.