UAE— M42, a technology-enabled global health powerhouse, has joined forces with AstraZeneca, a leader in science-led biopharmaceuticals, to enhance preventative healthcare and next-generation precision medicine.

M42, AstraZeneca’s chosen clinical genomics partner in the Middle East, will screen hereditary breast cancer genes to develop tailored medicines and prevention methods for each patient.

Breast cancer is the most frequent disease in women globally and the top cause of death in the UAE, accounting for 11.6% of all cancer deaths each year, according to the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP).

Approximately 15% of breast cancers are caused by genetic mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which can be inherited from either parent.

This innovative endeavor highlights M42’s strong multi-omics sequencing capabilities in oncological diagnostics, a fast evolving field with enormous potential to enhance patient outcomes as the global cancer burden rises.

M42 will assist in determining each patient’s inherited risk for cancer by simplifying cancer gene sequencing, allowing for early or even preventative interventions.

M42 is also establishing one of the Gulf’s first companion diagnostics projects in partnership with AstraZeneca, which will provide data for patients to optimize personalized drug-based therapies.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr. Fahed Al Marzooqi, Deputy Group Chief Operating Officer at M42, stated that M42 operates at the forefront of innovation, committed to reshaping the future of health through next-generation preventive and precision medicine.

He emphasized that this pioneering program, driven by disruptive omics technologies, aims to enable personalized cancer treatment and intervention, directly contributing to improved patient outcomes and promoting preventive medicine, aligning with their mission to support people and prioritize prevention over treatment.

In his address, Peter Raouf, GCC Oncology Business Unit Director at AstraZeneca, highlighted that this collaboration represents a significant step in their commitment to advancing personalized precision medicine in cancer research.

He also expressed excitement about pioneering efforts in preventative cancer care through M42’s cutting-edge genomics expertise and reiterated their priority to enhance patient outcomes for the health of individuals, society, and the planet.

The sequencing will be conducted at M42’s Omics Center of Excellence, one of the largest multi-omics research facilities globally, focusing on generating advanced genomics knowledge.

As the region’s most extensive and advanced omics facility, M42’s Omics Center of Excellence has been pivotal in the Emirati Genome Program (EGP), one of the largest population genomic initiatives worldwide.

Under the EGP program, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi has published guidelines on germline testing for breast and ovarian cancer predisposition genes to improve precision medicine practices in the emirate and tailor treatments based on patients’ genetic profiles.

This project will focus on patients from the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar to improve genomics understanding for non-Western populations that are often underrepresented in clinical research.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a world-class complex care hospital that is part of the M42 network, will be the first to gather genomes data from consenting patients under this partnership.

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