Emirati Genome Program partners with SEHA to ramp up participation across Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: The Emirati Genome Program announced its collaboration with SEHA (Abu Dhabi Health Services Co.) to shed light on the value of genomic medicine and increase Emirati citizens’ participation in the program. As part of the partnership, SEHA hosted a three-day sample collection event for their Emirati employees.

Guided by the vision and commitment of the UAE’s leadership, and overseen by the UAE Genomics Council, the Emirati Genome Program aims to advance the provision of healthcare services for citizens and strengthen the country’s position as a hub for innovation and research in the field of genomics.

In partnership with SEHA’s extensive network of care facilities, new sample collection sites have been added in Abu Dhabi, which include Al Zafaranah Diagnostic & Screening Center, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Corniche Hospital, Madinat Khalifa Healthcare Center, and Baniyas Healthcare Center. Additionally, in Al Ain, new centers have been set up in Tawam Hospital and Mezyad Healthcare Center.

Dr Anwar Sallam, Group Chief Medical Officer, SEHA, said: “We share the vision of a comprehensive healthcare system in the UAE that is more personalized, and one which will significantly improve disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. At SEHA, we have already seen a great level of participation by our Emirati employees. This partnership will further provide easier access and attract more participants to the program. We call upon all Emiratis to participate in the world’s largest genomic studies, as their contribution will pave the way towards a healthier future for generations to come.”

G42 Healthcare will utilize its Biogenix Labs – Omics Centre of Excellence, the largest and most technologically advanced omics facility in the region, to analyze data anonymously, generate a comprehensive genomic map, and potentially find breakthrough insights to drive large-scale scientific discovery.

Dr. Fahed Al Marzooqi, Chief Operating Officer, G42 Healthcare, “Genomics is transforming the way we look at healthcare by providing us a far more detailed understanding of diseases’ progression. The Emirati Genome Program’s role is to enable the healthcare and medical community to harness the power of genomic technology and science to improve the health of the local population and deliver on the key healthcare priorities for the UAE. Our partnership with SEHA mirrors our commitment to ensure access to the program in Abu Dhabi, and at the same time, a chance for every Emirati to participate.”

The program is open to all UAE nationals of all ages. Participants will only be required to donate either a blood sample or a buccal swab during their visit to the collection sites. A team will be available at all sample collection sites to guide participants through the process. Every participant will help the scientific community create solutions of preventive, personalized, and precision medicine that works not only for themselves but also for their community and the future of their generations.

The program operates in line with the highest ethical and governance standards and ensures the anonymity of all participants. The data will be used to develop healthcare strategies to address the population’s specific needs now and, in the future, and support the advancement of preventive medicine in the UAE.

For more information and details on the Emirati Genome Program, including information on how to participate, visit https://emiratigenomeprogram.ae/ or call on 800 UAE GENOME.

About the Emirati Genome Program:

The Emirati Genome Program (EGP) is the world’s first dedicated program to ever study the Arab genome. This initiative is a strategic public-private partnership between Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, and G42 Healthcare to refine the de novo Emirati reference genome with the intention of transforming the UAE healthcare to preventive systems and future proof the health of the nation. G42 Healthcare, the leading Abu Dhabi based HealthTech company that was responsible for setting up one of the world’s largest testing and diagnostics laboratory to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, and for conducting the world’s first pan-Arab clinical trials for Covid-19 inactivated vaccine, has established a state-of-the-art research and innovation hub at OMICS Center of Excellence in Masdar City. The Emirati Genome Program (EGP) has already referenced the Emirati genome based on DNA from UAE nationals using cutting edge next and third generation sequencing with artificial intelligence, and now extending the study to the wider Emirati population making EGP the most ambitious genomic program worldwide. For more information, visit https://emiratigenomeprogram.ae

About G42 Healthcare:

G42 Healthcare, a leading health- tech company, is on a mission to disrupt the healthcare ecosystem, unlock personalized and preventive care by harnessing data, advanced medicine, and therapeutics, to develop a world-class healthcare sector in the UAE.

At the forefront of the battle against COVID19, we have established Biogenix Labs, UAE’s first COVID-19 accredited massive throughput laboratory, facilitated 4Humanity trial, world’s first phase 3 trial for  inactivated vaccine against COVID-19 with participation from 43,000 volunteers from 125+ nationalities across pan-Arab region, supported the healthcare authorities on national vaccination implementation in the UAE, employed advanced AI techniques and vast computing resources to accelerate the detection of COVID-19, conducted research into new vaccines and drug therapies, and built Omics Centre of Excellence, the world’s largest and most technologically advanced Omics facility that helped mapped trends in the outbreak and is the backbone for Emirati Genome Program, world’s most comprehensive genomics initiative.

But that is not all. Beyond COVID19 we have an exciting program of activity to support the health of future generations, with genomics, imaging and diagnostics, digitization programs, therapeutics, and cutting-edge research. At G42 Healthcare, our plans are large in scale and bold in ambition. We partner extensively with governments, leading international entities, scientists and researchers and wider medical community who complement our as we develop solutions that seek to future-proof the health of nations.

About SEHA:

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC–SEHA – is an independent, public joint stock company created to develop the curative activities of the public healthcare system in Abu Dhabi. The company owns and operates all the public hospitals and clinics of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

SEHA is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

SEHA is committed to continuous improvement of customer care to recognized international standards and providing the community with world-class healthcare. SEHA operates 13 hospitals with 3,385 beds, 70 ambulatory care, family care and urgent care centers and 2 blood banks. Its facilities accommodate 117,162 inpatients annually and conduct 43,262 surgeries, as well as treating more than five million outpatients. SEHA is one of the largest integrated healthcare providers in the Middle East with more than 18,000 doctors, nurses, ancillary care, and administrative personnel.