Abu Dhabi joins forces with Sweden to implement revolutionary stem cell treatments
26 Sep, 2019: The Department of Health—Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi, alongside the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Swedish company, Takura. Takura invests and develops stem cell therapy companies together with researchers from the Karolinska Institute, one of the world's leading and most prestigious medical universities and Sweden's single largest center of medical academic research.
The MoU aims to bring the entities together to develop and implement several revolutionary cell therapy treatments in the hopes of aiding the treatment of several chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes and dementia.
The agreement was signed by H.E. Mohamed Hamad Al Hameli, Undersecretary of DoH, H.E Rashed Saif Al Qubaisi, Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), H.E Prof. Dr. / Ghaleb Al-Hadrami, Manager for Academic Affairs at UAEU and Per Båtelson, founder and chairman of Takura.
Commenting on the agreement, H.E Al Hameli said, “We are pleased to partner with a leading research company such as Takura that works to make cell therapy treatments developed by experts and researchers from the long-established Karolinska Institute available. It also gives us great pleasure to work alongside key stakeholders in the UAE such as SEHA and UAEU to bolster this cooperation. This partnership comes as part of DoH’s continued efforts to continue advancing the healthcare sector and bringing about paradigm shift in science discovery.”
The MoU is a result of mutual efforts by all involved entities to explore new avenues for collaboration and knowledge transfer in the fields of medical research and regenerative medicine. This collaboration sets the stage for establishing a specialised medical research centre and developing a patient-centric regulatory framework for implementing such treatments.
The three government entities in collaboration with Takura will come together to share experience, formulate expertise and provide academic and clinical training to medical recruits under a patient-centric regulatory framework. This has the potential to boost the Abu Dhabi economy’s competitiveness and productivity, further accelerating its shift towards a knowledge-based economy and positioning the nation’s capital as a hub for advanced medical technology as well as a leading medical tourism destination. It also falls in line with Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification plan and contributes to creating more employment opportunities as well as instilling patient confidence in the healthcare sector’s research and treatment capabilities.
“Abu Dhabi has clearly shown its commitment to lead the way within the cell therapy space. It is a privilege to have signed this agreement. Sweden and the UAE have a history of collaborating within health care and now we are deepening that relationship in order to help people in the UAE and beyond live longer and healthier lives”, says Takuras´founder and Chairman, Mr. Per Båtelson.
Besides, Dr. Ali Obaidili,Chief of Academic Affairs at Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) emphasized that the Company is committed to developing the health care sector in Abu Dhabi in line with the objectives outlined by Abu Dhabi Government by building international academic partnerships, investing in research and enhancing innovation in order to attain an international rank in healthcare and infrastructure to train qualified and outstanding national cadres in various modern specialties.
Al Obaidili added that the cooperation with scientific, research and eminent institutions will have a considerable impact on achieving results to provide advanced therapy modules to the patients in UAE in general, and Abu Dhabi in particular. He said that stem cell therapy is one of the modern treatments used worldwide in many fields; it helps in healing many diseases as these cells play a role in renewing the organs because it is able to renew itself and replace the damaged cells; thus, it can be used – according to the international scientific standards - to treat many cases that has been scientifically proven effective, such as myeloid leukemia, some heart diseases, burns, and post-transplantation assistance.
Dr. Obaidili stated that the cooperation between the official, scientific and health authorities in Abu Dhabi and research and scientific institutions in Sweden in the field of stem cell therapy is an important pillar for implementing further research and scientific experiments in order to increase the access to stem cell therapy in UAE and the region.
Stem-cell therapy, also known as regenerative medicine, has tremendous potential to change the face of chronic disease in the emirate of Abu Dhabi while also impacting upon the economy. Presently, stem-cell therapy poses a major medical, scientific and economic challenge within the modern healthcare landscape. Advanced technology in regenerative medicine is poised to effect transformative change in the re-use of cell therapy to restore the health of patients afflicted with various chronic ailments.