Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi
Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi Kamil Rogalinski/Unsplash

The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) and Japanese multinational pharmaceutical company Takeda Pharmaceutical signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday to advance research on rare diseases and oncology.

The MoU was signed during the BIO International Convention 2024 in San Diego, USA, – in the presence of Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, the Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH).

The partnership agreement was signed by Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, the Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at DoH, and Dr. Ahmed Fayed, General Manager East Gulf and Levant Cluster.

Al Mannaei said that rare diseases affect over 300 million people across the world, noting that "cancer remains a leading cause of death globally, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020 alone," WAM reported.

"As part of the Department's commitment to address global health challenges, we are proud to collaborate with Takeda Pharmaceuticals to unite efforts and leverage diverse expertise and resources to collectively lead groundbreaking discoveries and improve treatment options for patients," she added.

The Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at the DoH further said that the department wants to strengthen Abu Dhabi's reputation as a top destination for life sciences worldwide. She noted that the aim is to advance clinical research in rare diseases and oncology, promote innovation in healthcare technologies, and improve the ability to assess health technologies.

Fayed also spoke during the event and said that Takeda aims to strive toward a "Better Health and a Brighter Future for the people worldwide" with leading innovation in medicine, noting that currently, the DoH is spearheading a transformative movement in the healthcare landscape, particularly in rare diseases.

"Through strategic initiatives and robust collaborations with pharmaceutical companies and healthcare stakeholders, the Department has ushered in a new era of hope and progress for individuals affected by rare diseases in the region," he said.

He went on to explain that by prioritizing rare diseases on the healthcare agenda, DoH will help to bring groundbreaking advancements in research, diagnosis, and treatment options.

The general manager noted that this "proactive approach will not only raise awareness but will also foster a supportive ecosystem for patients and their families, ensuring access to specialized care and innovative therapies."

A high-profile Abu Dhabi delegation, led by the DoH, was visiting the United States from May 29 to June 5. During the visit, the delegation highlighted the rich diversity and expertise within Abu Dhabi's ecosystem.