G42 Healthcare, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi's artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Group 42, has launched a contract research organisation that will specialise in healthcare research and therapeutics.
A contract research organisation provides support to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries in the form of research services outsourced on a contract basis.
The new company, Insights Research Organisation and Solutions, will use real-world data and artificial intelligence to support scientific research and conduct clinical trials to expand access to treatments, G42 Healthcare said.
Abu Dhabi, which recently topped a global ranking of 50 cities for its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has invested significantly in life sciences and pharmaceuticals as it seeks to diversify its economy in the post-pandemic era.
Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ bought a minority stake in India's Biocon Biologics and acquired Pharmax Pharmaceuticals, a UAE-based generic drugs manufacturer.
The state-owned company also merged its healthcare entities Rafed and Union71 this year with Dubai-based Pure Health - a company that provides Covid-19 screening services - to create a major healthcare support services provider.
The new G42 research company will provide solutions to help develop drugs and medications by “leveraging state-of-the-art research capabilities and groundbreaking technologies”, the statement said.
“The new organisation will enhance Abu Dhabi’s capabilities and spotlight its contributions in developing medical solutions and leading research at a global level,” G42 Healthcare said.
“With the increasing incidence of chronic diseases, cancer and haematological disorders that require life-saving drugs, the Mena region needs a sustainable and robust clinical research infrastructure,” Walid Zaher, chief executive of Iros and chief research officer at G42 Healthcare, said.
“The UAE has an immense capacity for research and the substrate to develop a strong regulatory framework, which makes it an ideal location to build a CRO to service the needs of the region. With its surrounding population size and diversity in genetic profile and lifestyle, Iros has the perfect landscape to foster research and testing, leading to innovative new drugs and therapies.”
The Department of Health - Abu Dhabi praised the initiative, which aims to unify the efforts of the public and private sectors to utilise the emirate’s advanced infrastructure to enhance its healthcare medical research capabilities.
“Iros will help enhance Abu Dhabi’s position as an incubator for innovation and scientific research, especially in the health sector that continues to evolve so that the emirate becomes one of the leading global destinations for those looking to work in the sector, visit for treatment purposes or invest in healthcare,” Asmaa Al Mannai, executive director of research and innovation at the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, said.
The diversity of population in the UAE and the GCC offers an enormous advantage in clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of new drugs, vaccines and other therapeutic products across a range of individuals, the statement added.
G42 Healthcare established Biogenix Labs, the UAE’s first Covid-19 accredited large-scale throughput laboratory, and also facilitated the 4Humanity clinical trials, the world’s first Phase 3 trial for a vaccine to fight against coronavirus with more than 43,000 volunteers taking part.
G42, which owns and operates the world’s 26th-most powerful supercomputer, is carrying out high-level fundamental and applied research into AI as well as developing cloud computing for the most demanding use cases.