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Al Jalila Children’s Launches Genome Centre, First Of Its Kind In UAE
(4 February 2020)


Al Jalila children’s, the first and only children’s hospital in the UAE, recently launched the Genome Centre, the first of its kind comprehensive genetic testing and counselling centre in UAE.

The Centre will provide genomic testing and counselling for children and adults alike. With its diagnostics laboratory and a fully equipped clinic, in addition to a team of western board certified experts in precision medicine, the centre will offer the regional community specialised genetic counselling to support patients, families, and other doctors.

Dr. Abdulla Al Khayat, CEO of Al Jalila Children’s, said, "The launch of the Genomics Centre at Al Jalila Children’s is another milestone for the hospital and an important step in our endeavour to elevate the standards of healthcare along with other stakeholders in the UAE.

"We have invested in creating the Genomics Centre as an answer to address the serious gap in the region for complex genetic testing, making the accessibility to these tests faster and more cost effective compared to other labs across the world, while noting the increasing demand and the huge potential of medical advancements and discoveries through the data captured in the tests. This would result in personalised medicine for children and adults, hence more effective treatments".

The Genomics Centre at Al Jalila Children’s is accredited by the College of American Pathologists, and utilises highly advanced molecular technologies, bioinformatics pipelines, and interprets workflows consistent with guidelines by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

Al Jalila Children’s also signed 5 new major agreements with leading local and international medical entities, covering a wide spectrum of medical fields. Dr. Mohamed Al Awadhi, COO of Al Jalila Children’s, commented, "We thank Dubai Healthcare City, and Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, for their continuous support, for we believe that peadiatric healthcare will only reach new heights with the support of all stakeholders in Dubai and the wider UAE."

Dr. Ramadan AlBlooshi, Chief Regulatory Officer, Dubai Healthcare City Authority, said, "We have in place regulations to enable human genome research studies in Dubai Healthcare City. Apart from research, genomics is being explored to provide another tool to interpret a patient’s health and medical data. Our clinical partner Al Jalila Children’s through its Genomics Centre will strengthen UAE’s efforts towards genetic diagnoses, building much-needed capacity in genetic testing as well as increasing understanding of the benefits."

Immediately post its launch, the Genome Centre signed two important contracts with global leading medical entities for the purposes of precise genomic diagnostics. Moorfields Eye Hospital the first overseas branch of the world renowned 200-year-old Moorfields (London eye hospital), and Avexis, a Novartis company that focuses on advanced gene therapy, will commission the Genome Centre to conduct Genomic testing on their behalf, with the objective of identifying the causes and treatments of rare genetic diseases.

Furthermore, the final day of Arab Health 2020 saw the hospital sign a three party agreement with Mediclinic and MBRU to establish an organ transplant programme, and a separate agreement between Al Jalila Children’s and Mediclinic that will cover cooperation in genomics and other vital fields, while the third signing was between Al Jalila Children’s and MBRU and will focus on genomics research and development.

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