The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) and M42 have collaborated to launch the Abu Dhabi Biobank, with its first offering being the region’s largest hybrid cord blood bank. Reinforcing the emirate’s position as a leading destination for life sciences, the initiative aims to shorten waiting times for treatment, increase therapeutic access for patients, improve survival rates and reduce the economic burden on governments.

Announced at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week 2024, where M42 is participating as the Foundation Partner, the Abu Dhabi Biobank is part of the emirate’s vision of building a unique global biobanking hub delivering invaluable data assets for maximal impact on people’s health. It aims to become a key pillar of health transformation, creating a diverse, foundational, bio-asset that supports therapeutic treatments, life science research for medical innovation, novel drug discovery targets and disease prevention, to deliver the highest level of personalised, precise, and preventative healthcare.

The service will be introduced across four leading healthcare entities committed to maternal and child health across the emirate. Prospective parents can avail themselves of this service at Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women and Children, part of the M42 group, Corniche Hospital, Kanad Hospital, and hospitals as part of NMC Healthcare.

Her Excellency Dr Noura Khamis Al Ghaithi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), said: “The launch of the Abu Dhabi Biobank is poised to deliver biobanking excellence across the region. The wealth of biological and medical data amassed by the Biobank will serve as a catalyst for scientific breakthroughs, expediting drug discovery, thus contributing to the emirate’s ability to find solutions for local and global health challenges. It will significantly impact clinical care and patient outcomes, with emphasis on cord-derived stem cell therapies and enable the delivery of local stem cell therapy. The Abu Dhabi Biobank’s ability to link cord blood, tissue, stem cells, and a wide range of normal and pathological human specimens with established large genomic, proteomics and clinical records, sets the scene for transformative and cutting-edge initiatives. Promising advancements in life sciences, this initiative further solidifies the emirate’s position as an attractive destination for global health-tech giants, researchers and investors to collaborate and spearhead healthcare innovations.”

The cord blood bank of Abu Dhabi Biobank aims to enable better care outcomes, build the nation’s self-sufficiency in meeting the urgent need for cord blood stem cells, and further enhance regional capabilities in research and innovation. Stem cells help to heal, restore, and replenish other cells that can be used in the treatment of certain haematological and immune system disorders, including leukaemia, lymphoma and bone marrow diseases requiring a transplant.

With a capacity to store 100,000 cord blood samples and five million pan human samples, the biobank aims to create a rich diverse dataset that can provide ready and better matched hemopoietic stem cells globally.

The cord blood bank facility of Abu Dhabi Biobank, situated in M42’s Omics Centre of Excellence, is equipped with automated technology and biobanking infrastructure that will preserve samples safely and securely, thereby making it viable for research and therapeutic use for 30 years.

Ashish Koshy, Group Chief Operating Officer, M42, said: “M42 is committed to advancing health by delivering the highest level of personalised, precise, and preventative health solutions for all. The Abu Dhabi Biobank will foster global innovation in therapy development, as it holds huge potential for regenerative medicine, aiding in rare disease treatment, genetic screening, early detection, and scientific research. We're proud to partner with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi on this initiative, and we look forward to collaborating with them and other healthcare providers to drive progress in health and reinforce Abu Dhabi’s position as a global life science hub.”

The cord blood bank locally collects and preserves umbilical cord cells, offering donors the choice of preserving a newborn’s stem cells at birth, for potentially lifesaving treatments. Expectant mothers can preserve their baby’s cord blood and have the opportunity to preserve the stem cells as part of public or private banking.

Prospective parents can email , call 800 213, or visit to learn more about the initiative.