Abu Dhabi's G42 Healthcare teams up with AWS to offer genome sequencing

The partnership will provide on-demand service for multi-omics data globally

Ashish Koshy, CEO of G42 Healthcare , during inaguration of new Biogenix Labs which is located in the sustainable city of Masdar, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Vidhyaa Chandramohan for The National
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G42 Healthcare, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi's artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Group 42, has joined forces with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop a genomics, proteomics and biobanking service.

Genomics is the study of genes whereas proteomics is the study of proteins produced by the cell. Biobanking refers to the process of collecting body tissue for research to improve the understanding of health.

The partnership, which was announced at the Bio International Convention in San Diego, aims to make G42 Healthcare's sequencing, proteomics and data analytics capabilities available to “governments, population genome programmes and life science initiatives across the world”, the entities said on Tuesday.

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Our goal with AWS is to take the capabilities that have taken years and significant resources to build — global and at speed
Ashish Koshy, chief executive of G42 Healthcare

“Abu Dhabi is just a four-hour flight away from about 33 per cent of the world, and 80 per cent of the world is reachable with an eight-hour flight,” said G42 Healthcare chief executive Ashish Koshy.

“Our experience in facilitating the world’s most comprehensive population genomics initiative in Abu Dhabi showcases our deep understanding of how to deliver at scale — from sample management to advanced analytics.”

G42 Healthcare owns the region’s largest omics centre in Abu Dhabi that can deliver more than 500,000 whole-genome sequences per year. Omics refers to a field of study in biological sciences.

“Our goal with AWS is to take the capabilities that have taken years and significant resources to build — global and at speed. Our offering aims to leverage the extensive omics data management and bioinformatics solutions hosted globally on AWS at our customers' fingertips,” Mr Koshy said.

Investments in pharmaceutical and diagnostics fields have picked up in the recent months as companies increase their holdings within the healthcare sector.

G42 Healthcare established Biogenix Labs, the UAE’s first accredited, large-scale, throughput Covid-19 laboratory. It also arranged the 4Humanity clinical trials, the world’s first Phase 3 trial for a vaccine to fight against the coronavirus, with more than 43,000 volunteers taking part.

Its partnership with AWS will provide on-demand service for multi-omics data globally, Jens Dommel, head of public sector health care for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at AWS, said.

“Governments and researchers can benefit from democratised access to next-generation sequencing, proteomics and data analytics, supported by the most flexible and secure cloud computing environment available today,” Mr Dommel said.

Amazon’s subsidiary, AWS, provides on-demand cloud computing platforms to other businesses.

Last week, the Seattle-based company said its June quarter sales jumped more than 33 per cent annually to $19.7 billion, driven by an increased adoption of cloud services globally.

Last month, Amazon announced plans to acquire San Francisco-based healthcare provider One Medical for $3.9bn.

The US technology company indicated its interest in health care when it acquired PillPack, a full-service pharmacy, in 2018 for $750 million.

In 2020, it set up Amazon Pharmacy, allowing customers to order prescription medicine for home delivery.

Updated: August 02, 2022, 3:41 PM
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