The “G42 Healthcare”, a subsidiary of Group 42, which is based in Abu Dhabi, has launched the “Omex Center of Excellence”, which contains the most modern laboratory of its kind in the country and the region, to analyze genetic samples with the aim of adopting a series of advanced biological science projects. Including the Emirates Genome Program, while the Head of the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad Al Hamed, during his presence at the launch ceremony, presented his blood sample as the first participant in the Emirates Genome Program. The Omex Center of Excellence is home to the largest third-generation gene sequencing platform in the Middle East, and plans to add advanced optical mapping equipment to its facilities to better enable structural variance studies.
The UAE Genome Program is one of the most advanced genome programs in the region, and it is an extension of the Population Genome Program that was launched in its experimental phase earlier. The program aims to explore the genetic makeup of UAE citizens using advanced genetic sequencing and artificial intelligence techniques to create accurate and comprehensive genomic data. The resulting benchmark in providing personal and preventive health care to Emirati citizens.
The “G42” Healthcare Company stated that participating in the Emirati genome study requires those wishing to fill out a consent form, answer some medical questions, and give the participant two blood samples to extract DNA from them, and use it for complete genome analysis, and after collecting the samples, each sample will be given A number for the study and encoding it to not identify the participants in the study. The sample will be sent and processed at the company’s genome center, and DNA will be extracted from the blood sample to do a complete genome sequence examination. The data that will be obtained will also be stored in G42, in line with Data laws and privacy, and the remainder of the DNA extract for the sample will be preserved in case other genetic tests are needed.
For his part, the Head of the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad Al Hamed, affirmed that improving the health and safety of society and the quality of health care services is at the top of the department’s list of priorities, indicating that the department welcomes innovative initiatives, such as the Omex Center for Excellence, which will contribute to the advancement of the sector Health care and its infrastructure, as the center will work to lay the foundations for a healthier future for all members of society in the country.
While the Undersecretary of “Abu Dhabi Health”, Dr. Jamal Al Kaabi, stressed the importance of the Emirati genome project, to find out all the details of the citizens’ genes, and all diseases related to society.
1,000 human genome samples
The CEO of the G42 Healthcare Company, Ashish Kochi, confirmed the success of the “G42 Healthcare” in studying the biological genetic sequence in a large sample, and providing insights about viral mutations during the second wave of “Covid-19” in the UAE. The center, since its inception in September 2020, has analyzed more than 1,000 human genome samples across the next-generation gene sequencing platforms and third-generation gene sequencing platforms, to establish a standard reference genome for Emiratis.
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