G42 HealthCare

First-ever UAE-Israel genetic research collaboration with Kahn-Sagol-Maccabi (KSM)

KSM (Kahn-Sagol-Maccabi), which is the research and innovation center of Maccabi Healthcare Services headed by Dr Tal Patalon, and the UAE’s’ leading health-tech company G42 Healthcare, have agreed on the first-ever UAE-Israel genetic research collaboration, which will examine the connection between vitamin D deficiency, typical to the population in the Middle East, and the risk of developing chronic diseases.

As part of the collaboration, a proposal for a joint research grant has been submitted to The Middle East Regional Cooperation Program (MERC).

In the groundbreaking genetic study, researchers from both countries will try to accurately characterise the phenomenon of vitamin D deficiency, which is particularly prevalent in the Middle East, and is associated with chronic diseases.

The researchers will also examine strategic programmes to prevent and treat vitamin D deficiency.

The research protocol will be submitted for approval by the Ethics Committee, and the research will be conducted on anonymised data.

The first stage of the research will include a genomic sequencing of the DNA of a group of Israeli and Emirati patients suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Further on, links between genetic traits and morbidity will be examined.

Vitamin D deficiency affects a large portion of most country’s populations. Children, women, and the elderly are at particular risk, especially in middle eastern countries.

The head of the KSM Research and Innovation Center, Dr Tal Patalon, said: “This is a strategic cooperation between the countries, constructing the bridge for joint research, and the development of the ecosystem in the field of medical innovation.”

The chief research officer of G42 Healthcare, Dr Walid Zaher, said: “We are excited to partner with Maccabi’s research and innovation center [KSM] for this groundbreaking collaboration between the UAE and Israel. Our joint research will not only address the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the Middle East, but also help develop prevention strategies and treatment for chronic diseases linked to it.

“Data and knowledge gained from this collaborative research will lay the foundation for a healthier future for people across the region. This study is yet another example of G42 Healthcare’s commitment to develop sustainable healthcare solutions in the UAE and beyond”.