Dubai’s Al Jalila Children’s hospital launches genetic testing centre

The Genome centre will offer specialised genetic counselling to support patients, families, and other doctors

Image Courtesy: WAM

Dubai’s Al Jalila Children’s Specialty hospital launched a comprehensive genetic testing and counselling unit, it announced on Monday, February 3.

Accredited by the College of American Pathologists, the Genome centre, via its diagnostics laboratory, clinic and team of precision medicine experts, will offer specialised genetic counselling to support patients, families, and other doctors, a statement said.

The centre will provide genomic testing and counselling for both children and adults.

Post launch, the centre signed two contracts, by virtue of which Moorfields Eye Hospital and Avexis, a Novartis company, will task the centre to conduct genomic testing on their behalf, for identifying causes and treatments of rare genetic diseases.

Additionally, Al Jalila Children’s hospital signed five agreements with local and international medical entities, across a range of medical fields.

The hospital also closed in on a three party agreement with Mediclinic and Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) to establish an organ transplant programme;  a separate agreement between Al Jalila Children’s and Mediclinic to cooperate in genomics and other vital fields; and a third signing between Al Jalila Children’s and MBRU to focus on genomics research and development, the statement said.

Dr. Abdulla Al Khayat, CEO, Al Jalila Children’s, said, “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.”

“We have in place regulations to enable human genome research studies in Dubai Healthcare City,” said Dr. Ramadan AlBlooshi, chief regulatory officer, Dubai Healthcare City Authority.

“Apart from research, genomics is being explored to provide another tool to interpret a patient’s health and medical data.”