The Department of Health - Abu Dhabi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AstraZeneca during BIO International Convention 2024 to establish a world-class Rare Diseases Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Abu Dhabi. Leveraging Abu Dhabi's advanced healthcare infrastructure and AstraZeneca's global expertise and experience in rare diseases management, the two entities will spearhead innovation to improve the lives of people and communities impacted by rare diseases, regionally and globally. In the presence of H.E. Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Chairman of DoH and Hicham Mirghani, GCC and Pakistan Corporate Affairs Director at AstraZeneca, the MoU was signed by Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, the Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at DoH and Ghaleb Al Ahdab, Head of Government Affairs, GCC and Pakistan at AstraZeneca.

Data suggests genetic and congenital disorders are more common in the Arab Gulf than in other industrialised countries, leading to a high socio-economic burden on patients, families and communities. This collaboration will help to address this burden by allowing the two entities to work together to establish a Rare Disease Centre of Excellence in the Emirate, serving as a hub for comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, research education and patient care with a focus on haematology, neurology, and metabolic disorders. The two will work together to redefine diagnostic processes, implement early detection processes and innovate for new technologies for comprehensive patient management across some of the most devastating and hard to manage rare diseases.

In addition to collaborating to develop comprehensive diagnostic, treatment and follow-up protocols, DoH will work with AstraZeneca to identify and implement best practice in patient care. The organizations will also partner to develop and deliver educational programmes and training initiatives for both healthcare professionals and patients, enhancing awareness and understanding of specific rare diseases. Led by the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH), a high-profile Abu Dhabi delegation headed by His Excellency Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mans indoori, Chairman of the DoH, is visiting the United States of America (USA) between May 29th,2024 and June 5th,2024 to showcase the Emirate's partnership opportunities and explore collaboration with leading organizations in Research and Development (R&D), manufacturing and innovation.

Kicking-off in Philadelphia, delegates have met with existing and new partners to foster collaboration with leading education research institutions, governmental bodies and health-tech giants. The transnational mission has culminated in San Diego, coinciding with Abu Dhabi's participation at BIO International Convention 2024 to exhibit the Emirate's growth and development of its biotechnology industry. The participation has witnessed in-depth discussions, shared insights, shared insights and innovation.