Mubadala Health today announced that three of its healthcare facilities would be dedicated as sample-collection centres for the Emirati Genome Program, which aims to make the UAE a leader in the field of precision medicine and preventative healthcare. The announcement is aligned with the recent mandate by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) to expand the program across Abu Dhabi and brings total program collection sites to 21.
The Emirati Genome Program is a strategic partnership between the DoH and G42 Healthcare to refine the de novo Emirati reference genome. The program has already referenced the Emirati genome based on DNA samples from 1,000 UAE nationals using next and third-generation sequencing with artificial intelligence and is now being extended to the wider Emirati population.
The announcement was made at an event held at Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, where senior officials toured the facility and officially marked their collaborative efforts. The sample collection centres at Mubadala Health’s Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICDLC), Capital Health Screening Centre (CHSC), Healthpoint, as well as Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD), will expand on the existing centres supporting the study. In addition, Mubadala Health is granting the use of one of its modern mobile medical units to G42 Healthcare, which will extend the reach of the project at its new location on Hudairiyat island.
Hasan Jasem Al Nowais, CEO of Mubadala Health commented on the collaboration and said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Emirati Genome Program, which promises to have an enormous impact on the future of our healthcare sector. This project is close to our hearts as Mubadala Health has always emphasized the importance of preventative medicine while continuously working towards innovative diagnostic and treatment solutions.”
He added: “We are also excited about the implications of the program for our vast number of Emirati patients. The reference genome will be used as a type-standard to study the genetic makeup of citizens and enhance the prediction, prevention, and treatment of disease. The project therefore aims to improve healthcare, and thus quality of life, for both current and future generations.”
Ashish Koshy, CEO of G42 Healthcare said, “We are pleased to partner with Mubadala Health to significantly expand the number of collection centres across the emirate of Abu Dhabi and ramp up participation in the program. The more participants the program has, the more comprehensive and valuable the research data becomes. The Emirati Genome Program is designed to enable precise and customized medical treatment that will support a more robust healthcare system in the UAE by advancing local and international research, to better understand the nature of genetic illnesses, and support prevention strategies for current and future generations of Emiratis. The small step we are asking all Emiratis to take today will help realize a giant leap forward in preventive medicine in the UAE.”
How to participate: Emirati citizens visiting any of the branches of ICLDC, Healthpoint or CHSC will be supported by an onsite team of experts. The participants will be required to sign a consent form. More information on the Emirati Genome Program, can be found on www.emiratigenomeprogram.ae or by calling 800 UAE GENOME.