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Department of Health – Abu Dhabi and AstraZeneca Expand Partnership During BIO 2024 to Establish New Rare Diseases Centre of Excellence

6 Jun, 2024:

The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AstraZeneca during BIO International Convention 2024 to establish a world-class Rare Diseases Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Abu Dhabi. Leveraging Abu Dhabi’s advanced healthcare infrastructure and AstraZeneca’s global expertise and experience in rare diseases management, the two entities will spearhead innovation to improve the lives of people and communities impacted by rare diseases, regionally and globally.

In the presence of H.E. Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) and Hicham Mirghani, GCC and Pakistan Corporate Affairs Director at AstraZeneca, the MoU was signed by Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, the Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at DoH and Ghaleb Al Ahdab, Head of Government Affairs, GCC and Pakistan at AstraZeneca.

Data suggests genetic and congenital disorders are more common in the Arab Gulf than in other industrialised countries, leading to a high socio-economic burden on patients, families and communities. This collaboration will help to address this burden by allowing the two entities to work together to establish a Rare Disease Centre of Excellence in the Emirate, serving as a hub for comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, research education and patient care with a focus on haematology, neurology, and metabolic disorders.

Dr Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at the at DoH said: “We are proud to witness another collaboration with a prestigious partner during our participation at BIO 2024. Our Emirate is already home to some of the worlds most renowned global healthcare facilities, including four centres of excellence dedicated to delivering best-in-class care. However, none of this would be possible without collaboration. Under the directives of our wise leadership, Abu Dhabi has long realised the importance of private-public dialogue to address global challenges and advance healthcare for all. Partnership is a driving force at the Department of Health, and our latest with AstraZeneca will allow us to deliver on our promise to spearhead research and innovation enabling a healthier future for those impacted by rare disease, locally, regionally and beyond.”

This collaboration combines AstraZeneca’s global insights and Abu Dhabi’s unique infrastructure and ecosystem – including the Emirati Genome Programme – as well as its record of fast growing, future-forward, data enabled services. The two will work together to redefine diagnostic processes, implement state-of-the-art early detection processes and innovate for new technologies for comprehensive patient management across some of the most devastating and hard to manage rare diseases.

Ahmed Salem, GCC Rare Disease Business Unit Director at AstraZeneca, said: “We are proud of our collaboration with the Department of Health Abu Dhabi marking a significant step forward in our shared mission to transform the lives of those impacted by rare diseases. Through this collaboration, we aim to leverage our global expertise in rare disease management by focusing on diagnostic excellence, comprehensive treatment protocols, and world-class patient care. This aligns with Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming a global hub for life sciences and medical innovation and we are happy to contribute to that.”

In addition to collaborating to develop comprehensive diagnostic, treatment and follow-up protocols, DoH will work with AstraZeneca to identify and implement best practice in patient care. The two organisations will also partner to develop and deliver educational programmes and training initiatives for both healthcare professionals and patients, enhancing awareness and understanding of specific rare diseases.

Led by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), a high-profile Abu Dhabi delegation headed by His Excellency Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Chairman of the DoH, is visiting the United States of America (USA) between May 30th,2024 and June 6th,2024 to showcase the Emirate’s partnership opportunities and explore collaboration with leading organisations in Research and Development (R&D), manufacturing and innovation. Kicking-off in Philadelphia, delegates have met with existing and new partners to foster collaboration with leading education research institutions, governmental bodies and health-tech giants. The transnational mission has culminated in San Diego, coinciding with Abu Dhabi’s participation at BIO International Convention 2024 to exhibit the Emirate’s growth and development of its biotechnology industry.

Highlighting the rich diversity and expertise within Abu Dhabi’s ecosystem, the Delegation comprised of 20 key entities including the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Abu Dhabi Executive Office (ADEO), G42, Masdar City, Mubadala Investment Company, Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi Group (KEZAD), Malaffi, The Medical Office, Ambulatory Healthcare Services, PureHealth, One Health, M42, Technology Innovation Institute (TII), Burjeel Holdings, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi Holding Company (ADQ), Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Centre (ADSCC) and Etihad Airways.

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Last updated: 21 Jul 2024

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