M42, the Abu Dhabi–based health-tech firm launched last year by the sovereign-backed Mubadala Investment Company and AI tech holding company G42, has been actively investing in the study of genomics and proteomics, as healthcare shifts towards personalised medicine.

Speaking with Zawya on the sidelines of Arab Health, M42’s Group COO Ashish Koshy explained why a steady investment in life sciences has been adopted by the healthcare company to fuel its growth.

“Both genomics and proteomics are central to our vision because of the approach we are taking in patient healthcare,” said Koshy. “It isn’t just about consulting healthcare records to treat a patient but giving healthcare itself a 360-degree approach, one that analyses data from multiple stakeholders to make critical decisions which can ultimately reduce the overall cost of healthcare in terms of reimbursement and quality of care.”

Genomics, or the study of an organism’s genetic material, is a rapidly growing market in healthcare, one that is expected to cross $178.5 billion by 2032, according to a study by market research and consulting company Emergen Research.

Rapid advancements in sequencing technologies, precision medicine and personalised healthcare as well as rising demand for direct-to-consumer genetic testing are major factors driving market revenue growth, the January report further states.

Proteomics, or the large-scale study of proteins in organisms, has seen comparatively smaller growth in recent years. A study last year by research company MarketsandMarkets projected proteomics to reach $72.9 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 14.6% from 2023 to 2028.

At Arab Health, M42 announced its partnership with the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the International Center for Genetic Disease to invest further in precision health discovery and delivery, leveraging Microsoft’s Terra cloud platform, which is being used for biomedical research.

The company also partnered with US-based biotechnology company SomaLogic to launch a grant competition at Arab Health in order to harness the potential of proteomics research.

While Koshy declined to comment on the investment into the programmes, he stressed the importance of precision medicine in a region that has largely been overlooked in targeted healthcare research.

“You can’t only measure medical advancement in numbers. What we are working towards is the creation of a national platform, with vast amounts of datasets that will ultimately drive population health in this region,” Koshy said. “We as investors are building a lot of infrastructure programmes to build these datasets in a step towards future collaborations with other governments and healthcare companies.”

Much like its parent company, M42 is also focused on “transforming the future of health through technology,” according to Koshy.

The project will also contribute towards the Emirati Genome Programme, a public-private partnership between the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, and G42 to create a tech-based healthcare system for the UAE that will improve the health of the local population.

The project involves scientific study and research aimed at profiling and determining gene sequencing among UAE nationals to aid in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.

(Reporting by Bindu Rai; editing by Seban Scaria)