Abu Dhabi opens new clinical trials unit to boost medical research
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Abu Dhabi opens new clinical trials unit to boost medical research

Abu Dhabi opens new clinical trials unit to boost medical research

The new unit will conduct research and trials focused on key disease areas

Abu Dhabi waterfront

Abu Dhabi has inaugurated a new clinical trials unit to help respond to pressing local health challenges and position the emirate as a research and innovation hub.

The new unit was launched by Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), a joint-venture partnership between Mayo Clinic and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA).

The centre will conduct complex research and trials focused on key disease areas like neurology, rheumatology, hematology, oncology, cardiology, ophthalmology, gastroenterology and pediatrics.

SSMC’s researchers will also collaborate with national research institutions across the country, including hospitals and universities.

Meanwhile, the unit will offer greater opportunities for local and regional researchers, helping to develop the next generation of doctors aspiring to pursue medical research, a statement said.

The launch of the trials unit is part of a multi-phase approach, spread over a period of 10 years. The unit’s core infrastructure and initial operations will be established within the first two years of operations, marking its first phase. Phase 2 will see the creation of a dedicated physical space.

The unit, in its third phase, will reach its innovation development capabilities, including business development and entrepreneurship.

“The groundbreaking launch of our clinical trials unit illustrates our commitment to investing in research and finding new and innovative ways to treat our patients and respond to the region’s most concerning health challenges today and in the future,” said Dr Naser Ammash, chief executive officer of SSMC.

“SSMC’s clinical trials unit is a foundational component of what we’re building to become a leading medical research institute in the region performing unparalleled translational research at the interface of medicine, science, and technology,” added Dr. Shahrukh Hashmi, acting medical director of research at SSMC.

“At this moment in time, we have over 55 industry and investigator-initiated trials and over 30 registries that are ongoing or in development.”

Meanwhile, Dr Asma Al Mannaei, executive director of the research and innovation center at the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), noted that currently, there were around 400 clinical research trials under way in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi has been home to research and innovative medical projects. In July of last year, the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) had announced Dhs1.2m worth of funding for five research projects related to early childhood development (ECD).

Read: Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority awards Dhs1.2m to fund research projects

G42 Healthcare signed a strategic agreement with US-based ProPhase Precision Medicine to explore collaborative opportunities focusing on, but not limited to, genomic sequencing, artificial intelligence, sharing genomic data insights, and obtaining advanced certifications.

Read: G42 Healthcare, ProPhase to collaborate on genomic sequencing capabilities, data insights

Also read: Role of biotechnology and life sciences in UAE’s healthcare ambitions

In early 2021, the UAE had launched a project to begin manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine within the country.

Read: UAE to begin manufacturing ‘Hayat-Vax’ Covid-19 vaccine

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