• Pioneering start-ups showcase technologies changing the future of healthcare

Dubai: Leading healthcare companies and personalities were honoured at the Middle East’s first Precision Medicine Exhibition & Summit held at the Conrad Hotel, Dubai, with thought leaders and medical pioneers from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the USA coming together to unearth new opportunities in the digital technology-driven precision medicine (PM) field.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Tolerance of UAE & President of UAE Genetic Diseases Association, the event comes as the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region's precision medicine market is expected to grow by nearly 10% per year to US$2.1 billion in value within 18 months, transforming the region into a hub for the emerging sector.

The Precision Medicine Exhibition & Summit presented awards to companies and personalities who are changing the face of healthcare. Dr. Min S. Park, the Chief Scientific Officer of Sanimed International in Abu Dhabi, which makes culture medium, collagen, and advanced biotechnology products, was among the winners. Dr. Min was recognised for his mentorship, leadership, and contribution to the field of precision medicine.

Also recognised was Dr. Nadia Al Sayegh of the Dubai-based non-profit organisation Senses Residential and Day Care for Special Needs, the Middle East’s first residential care facility dedicated to improving the lives of people of determination, orphans, and abandoned children. Dr. Al Sayegh was recognised for her work in establishing volunteer work rules in the UAE for all people of determination, supporting university education for low-income families, supporting people of determination's religious needs, delivering therapeutic support for cancer and kidney failure patients, and developing specialised training for counsellors of families with people of determination and orphans of determination.

Sharjah University was recognised for its achievement in topping the UAE’s 2020-2021 rankings in the publication of Advances in Biomedical and Health Sciences and its development of the implementation of single cell omics technique that furthers understanding of very high-resolution disease mechanisms to identify pathways and biomarkers.

Dr. Burhan Fakhurji, the founder of Saudi Arabia's iGene Medical Research & Training Center and Peter Schlecht, CEO & Founder of Braingrade, a grouping of neurotech researchers, neurosurgeons, and neurologists who are developing a new solution to enable Alzheimer's patients to live longer and more independent lives, were among the awardees.

Dr. Fakhurji was honoured for his development of the iGene centre, which provides specialised medical training courses and raises the level of scientific research skills in molecular genetics and cancer cell diseases. Peter Schlecht was recognised for his innovative work on developing the next-level Deep Brain Stimulation device, which provides direct brain access and improves our cognitive abilities.

More than 50 healthcare solution providers from 25 countries are exhibiting at the Precision Medicine Exhibition including G42, an Abu Dhabi-based pioneer in AI and Cloud Computing that is developing the UAE's capital's Centre of Digital Health. They are showcasing their cutting-edge clinical genetic solutions, empowered by Biogenix Labs, the region's largest genomics lab.

“G42 Healthcare is on a mission to elevate the UAE’s healthcare sector by making personalised and preventive care a reality. We are proud to be at Precision Med Exhibition and Summit, Dubai, as a Gold Sponsor, showcasing more than 250 comprehensive clinical genetic test panels that use state-of-the-art sequencing technologies, with the shortest turnaround time. Our participation comes at an opportune time as we fuel our ambition to become a clinical genomics powerhouse in MENA,” said Dr. Sally Mahmoud, Lab Director, Biogenix Labs, a company of G42 Healthcare and the first COVID-19 ISO recognized lab in the UAE.

“Fronted by our strong healthcare team, these advanced tests will help not only screen but also facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of cancer, rare and metabolic diseases and many new-born genetic conditions. We intend to foster the future of advanced diagnostics via a differentiated and evidence-based unique offering,” she continued.

“Precision medicine requires a focused event of its own that attracts best minds from around the world to accelerate targeted therapies. This summit has, therefore, provided us with a great opportunity to connect and collaborate with other healthcare providers in the region as we continue to create solutions that promise better healthcare every day,” said Dr. Sally Mahmoud.

Another UAE sector pioneer, Leader Life Sciences is showcasing its outstanding efforts at this dedicated event for precision medicine, furthering the thought of #OnePatientOneTreatment. From pathology solutions all the way to genomics, the company holds a metaverse that can equip the scientific community with all the amenities to advance their stride in various scientific disciplines and simplify their path to scientific breakthroughs.

“The primary focus of Leader Life Sciences’ at the region's most dedicated personalised event is to introduce the technological advances for precision medicine in the GCC region. There has been a combination of biotechnology development and digitisation of health profiles that expanded personalisation into the world of drug discovery, clinical trials, diagnosis and prognosis. Leading the charge of this transformation are the advances made in these fields through digital devices, analytical tools along with diagnostic and research approach using them.”

Having achieved a multi-national and multi-disciplinary response on their first Middle East outings, the events’ organisers say both the Precision Medicine Exhibition & Summit and the EMERGE GHI investment forum, are now an annual event on Dubai’s calendar.

“These events have found a home in a region where the appetite for technology and healthcare investment is consistently expanding,” said David Stradling, Event Director.

“Our specialised events can help bring innovators in direct contact with investors, and policy makers, who are ready to invest in health-tech that can help progress development in healthcare.”

Over 70 international experts took to the Summit stage to deliver incisive insights into PM, which is moving healthcare from a ‘one size fits all’ to a targeted, personalised, approach. The ground-breaking EMERGE GHI investment forum is a hotbed of innovation with aspiring Health Tech start-ups seeking to win funding support from investors.

The two-day event is supported by a number of key industry leaders, including Thermo Fisher as a Gold sponsor, Takeda, Illumina, and Leader Life Sciences’ as Silver sponsors among others.