DoH, Penn Medicine sign MoU on translational research, second labs in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI: Ahead of its participation at BIO International Convention, in San Diego, USA, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector, signed a second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Medicine) to expand cooperation in education, research and innovation programmes. Both parties will further collaborate on translational research ecosystem development as well as launch innovative collaborative research involving ‘second labs’ that leverage and build capabilities in Abu Dhabi and at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA in leading-edge areas of science.

The MoU has been signed by Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi and Mick Merritt, Chief Operating Officer and Lead for Global Clinical Programmes, at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Medicine).

Reinforcing the Emi
rate’s strategy to be a leading destination for life sciences, this second MoU establishes that the DoH and Penn Medicine seek to design and develop a translational medicine ecosystem based on Penn’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) that will enable Abu Dhabi to leverage and expand upon the strengths of existing organisations. In addition, the MoU seeks to explore the potential of launching two multi-year collaborative research programmes. One focuses on the expanded application of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify new potential antibiotics. The other focuses on longitudinal follow-up and genetic analysis of people with Alzheimer’s in Abu Dhabi that will facilitate cross-population comparative analysis and unique attributes that ultimately enable prevention and early diagnosis.

With the aim of bridging the gap between preliminary research and practical applications in medical practices, translational research seeks to translate research discoveries from laboratory findings
and clinical studies into practical applications to improve human health.

Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said, ‘With a successful history of collaboration with Penn Medicine, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi is thrilled to build on this partnership which underscores the crucial importance of synergy between academia and regulatory bodies in enabling research development and innovation. Abu Dhabi continues to spearhead global collaboration on the global stage and facilitate knowledge and experience sharing in reflection of its commitment to driving forward a future where innovative healthcare solutions are accessible to all.’

Leveraging Abu Dhabi’s advanced infrastructure and Penn Medicine’s renowned expertise in discovering and developing novel treatments, the collaboration will potentiate the development of a translational medicine and therapeutics ecosystem to further enable capacity development and the cre
ation of novel discoveries and treatments to be developed in Abu Dhabi. This will involve the development of research training and educational programmes for healthcare professionals to upskill the workforce in various healthcare domains including medical science, biomedical research and health technology.

Glen Gaulton, PhD, Vice Dean and Director of the Center for Global Health at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, said, ‘Penn Medicine has become a global leader in precision medicine and innovation that has resulted in more than 25 new drugs and therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the past several years. These accomplishments were catalysed by the transformational investment in ITMAT 20 years ago, which has developed a translational research ecosystem that enriched our human capital and incentivised interdisciplinary and translational research. We look forward to collaborating with our colleagues in Abu Dhabi to replicate this structure in parallel with investment in ‘second labs
‘ to foster interactions focused on specific challenges and opportunities in translational research. This will advance the capacity of Abu Dhabi to pursue its vision to become a true innovator in the biomedical sciences and a regional leader that will make a global impact.’

Led by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), a high-profile Abu Dhabi delegation headed by Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Chairman of the DoH, visited the USA between 29th May,2024 and 5th June,2024 to showcase the Emirate’s partnership opportunities and explore collaboration with leading organisations in Research and Development (R and 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 developm
ent 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.

Source: Emirates News Agency

du to launch hyperscale cloud, sovereign AI services for UAE government

DUBAI: du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), today announced it will deploy Oracle Alloy to offer hyperscale cloud and sovereign AI services for the government and public sector entities in the UAE focusing on Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

The signing ceremony took place during the AI Retreat in Dubai, attended by decision-makers, industry leaders, AI experts from government and private sectors and global tech giants to discuss strategies, challenges and opportunities presented by AI locally and globally.

Oracle Alloy is a complete cloud infrastructure platform that enables Oracle partners to become cloud providers.

With this platform, du can provide more than 100 Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services together with its own value-added cloud services and applications. This will enable du to become the first local hyperscale cloud provider to offer a comprehensive set of cloud services branded under its portfolio.

The services will be customised to meet the specific needs o
f the UAE markets and industry verticals while ensuring alignment with the UAE regulatory requirements.

du will also benefit from Oracle and NVIDIA’s collaboration, enabling du to offer sovereign AI capabilities and its new GPU-as-a-Service to government entities in Dubai and Northern Emirates.

Oracle’s distributed cloud, AI Services, and generative AI services, combined with NVIDIA’s accelerated computing platform and software, will enable du to quickly deploy AI capabilities for its public sector customers.

Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO of du, said, “The UAE is one of the fastest-growing cloud services markets in the world, and public sector entities in the UAE are rapidly embracing the benefits of the cloud, including added agility, efficiency, security, and access to the latest digital technologies such as AI and machine learning.”

Source: Emirates News Agency

MoHAP launches tobacco-free workplace guide

DUBAI: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has launched a tobacco-free workplace guide as part of its ongoing efforts to combat smoking in all forms, protect community members from the public health dangers associated with smoking, and improve the quality of life in work environments.

The handbook, developed by the Ministry’s National Tobacco Control Program, offers a comprehensive explanation of the measures implemented to create a tobacco-free workplace.

It outlines the detrimental effects of smoking on individual health and the environment, along with the benefits of quitting. Additionally, the guide provides practical instructions for managers and employees on establishing a smoke-free environment, detailing procedures for handling violations, and offering steps to assist employees in quitting smoking.

The UAE is considered one of the leading countries in tobacco control, having enacted Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on Combating Tobacco, followed by comprehensive executive regulations governing
all tobacco-related activities. These regulations aim to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces and prohibit the use of tobacco in any form in various public areas, including government buildings, healthcare and educational institutions, and public transportation, among others.

Effective measures

Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector, stated: “MoHAP’s Tobacco-Free Workplace Guide will be used as a key resource and tool to assist both government and private entities in fostering a workplace free from the use of all tobacco products. It also comes in line with the UAE’s commitment to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), ratified in 2005, aiming to implement effective measures that protect against exposure to tobacco smoke in workplaces, public transportation, and public places.”

Reducing tobacco consumption

Dr. Hussein Al Rand highlighted MoHAP’s extensive initiatives to combat tobacco use, ranging from monitoring and tracking tobacco
consumption to protecting community members from exposure to smoking. These initiatives extend to providing cessation services, educating the public on the harms of tobacco, and enforcing bans on tobacco advertising. Additionally, he underscored the Ministry’s support for the government’s decision to implement an excise tax on tobacco products starting in 2019.

He noted that these efforts have successfully decreased the tobacco consumption rate from 11.1 percent in 2010 to 9.1 percent in 2018, as reported by the National Health Survey. Dr. Al Rand also highlighted that the UAE is on track to meet the Global NCD Action Plan 2025, achieving a significant reduction in tobacco use prevalence in recent years, as documented in the World Health Organisation’s latest global report on tobacco trends.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Nahyan bin Mubarak inaugurates ART Fertility Clinic in Al Ain City

AL AIN: Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, affirmed that the UAE earned a distinguished reputation on a global scale in the field of healthcare, thanks to the great support and dedication of the UAE’s wise leadership, represented by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who always emphasises the importance of this vital sector and its importance to the UAE’s progress and development.

Sheikh Nahyan emphasised that the UAE makes no compromises in its efforts to upgrade this sector constantly, whether by engaging the best medical expertise globally or acquiring the newest equipment and technology for use in public or private hospitals.

Sheikh Nahyan made this statement during his inauguration of the ART Fertility Clinic in Al Ain, which was attended by various state-level officials and medical specialists, including Dr. Noura Khamis Al Ghaithi, Undersecretary of Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, former speaker of Federal N
ational Council, Eng. Ali Khalifa Al Qamzy, Director General of Al Ain City Municipality, Abdulnasser Alshaali, UAE Ambassador to India, and Hareb Al Darmaki, Chairman of Gulf Capital.

Sheikh Nahyan visited all departments of the clinic, praising the unique equipment in each department and wishing success to all health facilities in the UAE in providing the best medical service of international standards to the nationals of the UAE, and residents of its blessed land.

He added “This world-class clinic raises the bar for IVF services and will be a gift to the population of Al Ain. It is also a testament to ART Fertility’s commitment to the UAE both in terms of providing the latest technology and attracting world-renowned medical staff in the field of reproductive medicine’.

Situated strategically within Al Ain, the new clinic promises easy accessibility for residents not only in Al Ain but also from the neighbouring Emirates. The state-of-the-art clinic in Al Ain deploys the most advanced infrastructure and
technology including AI equipped incubators, the latest Operating Room (OR) facilities, a genetic test facility, and an in-house pathology lab. The 25,000 square feet facility will provide all services related to Reproductive Medicine including treating male and female infertility including all related medical procedures, diagnosing, and treating genetic disorders. This latest addition to ART Fertility’s growing network embodies the institution’s commitment to offering comprehensive fertility treatments, undertaking root-cause analysis of infertility via proprietary research, and making the UAE an internationally recognized referral centre for reproductive medicine.

Established in 2015, ART Fertility Clinics, formerly known as IVI Middle East, underwent a transformative journey in 2019 when Gulf Capital led the carve out from IVI RMA and rebranded it as ART Fertility Clinics. Since then, ART Fertility Clinics has become the leading

IVF clinics in the GCC with presence in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Dubai. Additi
onally, ART Fertility Clinics operates ten advanced clinics in India, positioning itself as a global leader in reproductive medicine.

Dr. Karim El Solh, Chairman of ART Fertility and CEO of Gulf Capital, remarked, ‘We are delighted to open a new, full-fledged IVF Fertility clinic in Al Ain, equipped with the latest advanced technology and facilities for treating infertility and genetic disorders. Gulf Capital is focused on bringing the best healthcare services to Al Ain following successful expansions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. ART Fertility has now expanded, with the help of Gulf Capital, from a single clinic in Abu Dhabi to 14 locations across the GCC and India. ART Fertility has become today one of the largest independent IVF Fertility platforms across the Gulf region.’

Prof Human Fatemi, Prof. of Reproductive Medicine, and Group Medical Director at ART Fertility Clinics, with over 200 research papers to his credit, added, ‘ART Fertility Clinics has an extremely talented and experienced team of world-renown
ed physicians, embryologists, and medical professionals including counsellors and nursing staff that help us achieve one of the highest success rates globally as well as extremely low rate of complications.”

Mr. Suresh Soni, Chief Executive Officer of ART Fertility Clinics, expressed his enthusiasm for the expansion, stating, “We are dedicated to extending our reach to provide cutting-edge reproductive healthcare solutions to individuals and couples across the region. The opening of our Al Ain clinic marks another significant milestone in our mission to make advanced fertility treatments accessible to those in need. ART Fertility Clinics is planning additional Clinics across Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by year end 2024.’

Source: Emirates News Agency

MOHAP announces defined cases of permissible abortion, their controls and procedures

ABU DHABI: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) has announced the defined cases of permissible abortion and their controls and procedures, to preserve the pregnant woman’s life, ensure her safety, and enhance oversight of healthcare facilities operating in the UAE.

The Ministry has affirmed that new controls and procedures were issued to define and regulate cases of permissible abortion in the UAE. The new regulation stipulates that the decision on abortion requests shall be made by a dedicated committee that will be formed within each health authority by a decision of MOHAP or the head of the emirate’s health authority.

The committee should comprise 3 doctors, one of them is an obstetrics and gynecology specialist, the second is a psychiatry specialist, in addition to a representative of the Public Prosecution. The Committee is permitted to consult a third party with the appropriate specialty and expertise when needed.

The Ministry stated that conducting an abortion procedure is permissible if co
ntinuing the pregnancy endangers the pregnant woman’s life, in the absence of any alternative way to save her life, or if the fetus’s deformation is severe, proven, and will affect the newborn’s health and life. This case should be supported by a medical report issued by a specialised medical committee. Several other cases of permissible abortion have been defined, provided that the gestational period at the time of the abortion procedure does not exceed 120 days.

The regulation stipulates also that the abortion procedure should be performed only in a healthcare facility licensed by the competent health authority to perform abortions, the procedure should be performed by a specialist obstetrician-gynecologist licensed to practice within the country, and the abortion should be free of any medical complications which may put the pregnant woman’s life at high risk.

The relevant healthcare authorities are committed to developing a policy that details the responsibilities and obligations of the healthcare facili
ties and medical staff in charge of the abortion procedure for the above-mentioned cases. It should detail also the rights and responsibilities of the pregnant woman subject to the abortion procedure, and explain to her the necessary health care requirements before and after the abortion procedure. Healthcare facilities in the UAE have also been obligated, by the new controls, to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the personal data of a pregnant woman undergoing an abortion. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the health authority to monitor and supervise the activities of the healthcare facilities licensed to perform abortions and evaluate their compliance.

Source: Emirates News Agency