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Abu Dhabi life science mission to cement collaboration with the USA

ABU DHABI, A high-profile Abu Dhabi health delegation will be visiting the United States of America this month to explore prospects of joint collaboration within the framework of healthcare at large and life science in specific.

The visit is expected to see meetings and groundbreaking agreement signings with leading partners to explore and activate collaborations in life science and real-world evidence, digital health, research and development, supply chain and many other areas.

The visit aims to lay down sustainable mechanisms that empower the healthcare sector in both countries as well as showcase Abu Dhabi’s distinguished healthcare ecosystem.

Headed by Abdulla bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the delegation will witness the participation of seven key entities representing Abu Dhabi’s healthcare and life science ecosystem including the DoH, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Mubadala Health, G42, Abu Dhabi Ports, ADQ, Etihad Cargo and Pure Health.

The Abu Dhabi delegation will participate in the visit which will kick-off in Washington DC with a visit the Children’s National Hospital, home to the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation.

As part of the visit, the delegation will stop in Boston to visit various healthcare and biopharmaceutical facilities to explore potential collaborations with global partners.

The visit seeks to bring innovative treatments and breakthrough solutions to the UAE and the MENA region as well as exchange knowledge and experiences across the sector.

The visit will conclude in San Diego where the Abu Dhabi delegation will participate in the BIO International Convention from June 13-16, 2022 to showcase the domestic growth and economic development of Abu Dhabi’s biotechnology industry.

Abu Dhabi is also home to renowned healthcare providers such as Cleveland Clinic, Imperial College London, Mayo Clinic and Moorefields Eye Hospital. Moreover, the emirate has been working closely with key players in the biopharmaceutical industry including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Roche, Novartis, GSK, Sanofi, MSD and Johnson and Johnson among others to boost local and global capabilities related to research and innovation in life science, digital health and supply chain – strengthening its position as a leading destination in healthcare and life sciences.

Commenting on the Mission, Abdulla Al Hamed said: "More than ever today, the international community understands the importance of cross collaboration and unified efforts across all sectors. While we battled the Covid-19 pandemic, the world came to realise that the only way to overcome a global healthcare crisis is to band together. We witnessed the international community join forces and explore solutions for the health and wellbeing of all. The UAE and Abu Dhabi are strong proponents for unity and tolerance, core values which have been exemplified by our efforts to bolster the healthcare industry at large in recent years."

In a continuous bid to boost international collaboration across the healthcare sector, the Abu Dhabi delegation is set to lead research groups supported by global partners to explore the resilience and sustainability of the healthcare sector worldwide as well as provide quality care to patients.

Abu Dhabi continues to work in unison with global strategic partners to set the stage for a future driven by healthcare technology, innovation and artificial intelligence as part of its transformation strategy that aims to further enhance the quality of the healthcare sector’s outcomes.

He added: "Our Abu Dhabi Delegation looks forward to visiting our long-standing partners in the USA. The UAE and USA have always enjoyed distinguished relations – both countries have always led similar values and worked hand in hand for decades to create a significant economic impact that benefits the global community. Deep cultural ties are at the heart of the UAE’s relationship with the USA and that is translated through the many partnerships we continue develop alongside. We take pride in all that we have achieved together and look forward for more milestones to come."

Positioning itself as a life science hub, Abu Dhabi demonstrated an outstanding response and achieved remarkable milestones since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UAE’s capital set an exemplary model in providing the highest quality of care to patients in the emirate and topped global rankings which reinforced its position as a leading destination for advanced healthcare and an incubator for innovation in the healthcare sector, both regionally and internationally.

Reflecting the outstanding efforts, Abu Dhabi was ranked as the leading city in response to COVID-19 globally, according to the London-based analytics consortium, Deep Knowledge Group (DKG). The Deep Knowledge Group released the report, "Ranking of the Safest Cities during the COVID-19 Pandemic for the Second Quarter of 2021", which was based on 114 parameters covering key aspects of the COVID-19 response. Additionally, the UAE has been featured consistently among the top three countries globally in the Bloomberg's COVID-19 Resilience Ranking.

The UAE was also one of the first countries to participate in clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines, which contributed to accelerating the pace of vaccine development and distribution worldwide. The study witnessed the largest clinical trial on the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine which covered over 32,000 volunteers. Additionally, DoH launched the "Research Registry for COVID-19", which is a unified platform to support R&D efforts in the fight against COVID-19, facilitating scientific discoveries to tackle the virus.

In addition, Abu Dhabi has locally manufactured over 300,000 COVID-19 RNA extraction solution samples and increased testing capacity to more than 500,000 tests per day. Additionally, the storage capacity for vaccines in Abu Dhabi reached nine billion vaccine doses, and 27 PCR drive-through testing and vaccination centres were established across the emirate.

In February 2021, DoH announced that the emirate is supporting international testing efforts by offering laboratory testing for COVID-19 samples from outside the UAE. This first initiative of its kind in the world re-affirms the emirate’s regional and international position and demonstrates Abu Dhabi's world-class healthcare services and facilities.

Under the leadership of DoH, Abu Dhabi established the HOPE Consortium in 2020 which offers one of the most capable and effective vaccine supply chains in the world, distributed and transported more than 260 million vaccines to 60 countries.

Recently, Abu Dhabi has strengthened ways of collaboration with Belgium, as a leading global pharmaceutical hub, to establish a global distribution corridor between Abu Dhabi and Brussels, to serve the world in vaccine delivery and future life science needs.

Moreover, as part of Abu Dhabi’s strategy to drive a knowledge-based economy, DoH supports start-ups throughout the different development phases, from ideation to introduction and scaling to international markets. The Department is currently extending support to over 60 licensed start-ups and in communication with over 300 start-up companies worldwide.

In collaboration with Plug and Play, DoH is running a start-up accelerator that targets solutions and start-ups from all over the world. The efforts resulted in great number of new jobs and have raised over $44 million in funds with a total estimated economic impact of over $55 million. Abu Dhabi continues to attract and empower international talents who are looking to work and reside in the UAE. The current healthcare system provides the opportunity for doctors and clinicians from 98 countries to apply and work in the UAE.

Source: Emirates News Agency