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The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi and Novartis to Partner to Advance Genomics Research in Oncology and Beyond

7 Jun, 2024:

At BIO 2024 International Convention, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Novartis Middle East FZE, a global pharmaceutical company. Under the terms of the MoU, the entities will work together to advance solutions in multiple therapeutic areas. The two priority focus areas include advancing clinical genomics research for real-world evidence (RWE) and generating and disseminating evidence to support the understanding of radioligand therapy (RLT) for cancer patients.

In the presence of Thierry Diagana, Head of Global Health and California Sites Head at Novartis Biomedical Research, the MoU was signed by Dr Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, the Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at DoH and Ibrahim Aqel, Head of Government Affairs and Value & Access – Gulf at Novartis.

This collaboration will utilise Abu Dhabi's genomics expertise as well as its future-forward, agile regulatory framework research hub to collaborate on future clinical research and the generation of RWE. This will include the exploration of innovative solutions and genomics research in oncology, cardiovascular disease, and neuroscience. The two will also work together to generate and disseminate evidence to support the awareness and understanding of RLT – a form of precision nuclear medicine that may recognise and treat disease in patients with advanced cancers – with key stakeholders, including policymakers, healthcare professionals and patient organisations.

Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Center at the at DoH said: "Novartis has been a long-standing partner to the Department of Health, and we are proud to explore these new areas of opportunity to collaborate for the ultimate benefit of patients in the region and beyond. We believe that this partnership will allow us to further accelerate the field of personalised and precision medicine across important therapeutic areas. As we continue to establish Abu Dhabi as a hub for global life science and a centre for innovative research, we are excited to work in synergy with our strategic partners and combine our expertise in the pursuit of common goals."

Under the MoU, Novartis will also work with DoH to explore innovative solutions for local and regional health needs. This will include supporting the Emirati Genome Programme by collaborating to raise awareness of genetic and rare diseases for the benefit of patients in Abu Dhabi and the broader region. The final focus area is supporting the further improvement of the Health Technology Assessment through facilitated partnership and shared best practice.

Mohamed Ezz Eldin Head of Gulf countries for Novartis, said: "We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi through the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding. This partnership represents a significant milestone in advancing research and innovation in healthcare, particularly in the fields of oncology, cardiovascular diseases, and neuroscience. Novartis is committed to supporting the development of clinical research capabilities in Abu Dhabi, generating real-world evidence, and raising awareness about radioligand therapy. We look forward to working closely with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi to drive innovation and enhance the Health Technology Assessment capabilities in the region. Our goal is to contribute to personalized and precision medicine, ultimately improving patient outcomes."

Led by the DoH, a high-profile Abu Dhabi delegation headed by His Excellency Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Chairman of DoH, is visiting the United States of America between May 30th,2024 and June 6th, 2024 to showcase the Emirate's partnership opportunities and explore collaboration with leading organizations in Research and Development, 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. The participation has witnessed in-depth discussions, shared insights and expertise as well as explored collaborations in health-tech, life science and innovation.

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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