First-of-Its-Kind Advanced Molecular Diagnostics and Immune Profile Testing Laboratory Opens in the UAE

Abu Dhabi 07 May 2024: In a significant step towards revolutionizing the diagnostic landscape in the region, Burjeel Holdings has commissioned a cutting-edge, advanced molecular diagnostics and immune profile testing laboratory in the UAE. To manage the technical and operational aspects, the Group’s central laboratory – CoLab – has partnered with Canada-based OncoHelix that provides specialized molecular and immune profile testing for clinical diagnostic, and translational research in North America and around the world. Located at Burjeel Holdings’ flagship facility, Burjeel Medical City (“BMC”), OncoHelix-CoLab is a first-of-its-kind facility in the UAE with comprehensive capabilities in molecular, cellular immunology and transplant diagnostics.

Radha Krishna Panday, Ambassador of Canada to the UAE, John Sunil, CEO of Burjeel Holdings, and Dr. Faisal Khan, CEO of OncoHelix, along with top officials from Burjeel Holdings attended the opening ceremony.

Enhancing Diagnostic Capabilities

The establishment of OncoHelix-CoLab marks a significant advancement in diagnostic medicine, as it enables specialized and sophisticated tests to be performed locally. This eliminates the need for the traditional pack-and-ship approach and prevents samples from being sent out of the UAE, streamlining the process and retaining critical diagnostics within the country. Additionally, OncoHelix-CoLab paves the way for enhanced healthcare efficiency. The state-of-the-art lab facility will utilize advanced technologies like Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), Droplet Digital PCR, and Multi-color Flow cytometry to offer a slew of advanced diagnostic tests. This facility will allow the repatriation of previously outsourced tests, and as a result, healthcare providers can expect expedited results and heightened diagnostic precision, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes. 

OncoHelix-CoLab is uniquely positioned to address the specific healthcare needs of the UAE and MENA region, offering a wide range of specialized services including cancer genomic profiling, molecular diagnostics, cellular diagnostics, transplant diagnostics, and specialized immunology tests. These services will improve patient care and contribute to the development of tailored healthcare solutions for the region’s population.

“With OncoHelix-CoLab, we are establishing a first-of-its-kind facility that utilizes leading-edge international expertise to meet local needs. It offers a comprehensive suite of diagnostic services, providing deeper insights into disease pathology at a molecular level. Through this innovative collaboration with OncoHelix, we aim to address the unique healthcare challenges in the UAE and MENA, paving the way for better-tailored healthcare solutions and improved patient outcomes. For Burjeel Holdings, this new collaboration marks another strategic milestone towards our goal of being the region’s top provider of super-specialty healthcare services,” said Dr. Meer Taher Shabani Rad, Chief Medical Officer, OncoHelix-CoLab.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of OncoHelix-CoLab, a groundbreaking initiative in partnership with Burjeel Holdings. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in our commitment to revolutionize diagnostics through research and innovation. Together, we aim to harness cutting-edge technologies to lay a strong foundation for an advanced translational research program and to deliver evidence-driven precision diagnostics that promise better outcomes for patients in the MENA region,” said Dr. Faisal Khan, CEO of OncoHelix.

Strengthening the Healthcare Ecosystem

Burjeel Holdings’ new OncoHelix-CoLab will enable significant cost savings and operational efficiencies, which are expected to benefit the entire healthcare system across the region. By reducing reliance on international services and offering unique medical solutions, the laboratory also supports the UAE’s strategic priorities of achieving self-reliance in healthcare and driving medical tourism.  With strong capabilities in critical clinical areas, the lab is well-positioned to serve as a centre for research and development, contributing to innovation and advances in treatment.

In addition to its diagnostic services, OncoHelix-CoLab is committed to nurturing talent and expertise in esoteric diagnostics. The laboratory will offer clinical training and fellowship programs in molecular and transplant diagnostics, further building local capacity and nurturing talent in the field of advanced diagnostics. 

About Burjeel Holdings 

Founded in 2007, Burjeel Holdings is one of the leading private providers of world-class healthcare services in the UAE and Oman, operating a growing specialized healthcare segment in Saudi Arabia. With a network of 76 assets, including 16 hospitals and 38 medical centers, as well as 15 pharmacies and other allied services, the Group collectively provides a premier offering in the Gulf region. Burjeel Holdings’ brands include Burjeel, Medeor, LLH, Lifecare, PhysioTherabia and Tajmeel. It has 13 JCI-accredited facilities, with a total of 1,708 patient beds across its operations in the UAE and Oman and holds a leading position in the UAE.

About OncoHelix

OncoHelix, a Calgary-based organization is an internationally acknowledged leader in precision diagnostics that provides specialized molecular and immune profile testing for clinical diagnostics, and translational research in North America and around the world. In collaboration with the Hematology Translational Lab (HTL) at the University of Calgary, OncoHelix has developed impactful precision oncology and immunology pipelines. The OncoHelix team comprises molecular diagnostic specialists, clinical pathologists, medical oncologists, immunologists, and bioinformaticians specializing in esoteric clinical diagnostics and translational research. The OncoHelix team has an exemplary record in translational research with over 375 publications in leading scientific journals, multiple international awards, and impeccable success in translating research into precision diagnostic tests.