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TII, Burjeel Medical City Partner To Advance Immunotherapy Solutions For Cancer Patients
(15 May 2024)


In line with the UAE’s ongoing efforts to revolutionise cancer care, the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), a leading global scientific research centre and the applied research pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), today announced that it has joined forces with Burjeel Medical City (BMC), the flagship quaternary care hospital under Burjeel Holdings, to pioneer novel immunotherapy solutions for cancer treatment.

The collaboration is focused on engineering T-cell based therapeutics, including Chimeric Antigen Receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy and Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) therapy - two groundbreaking treatments that help boost the body’s own immune system to fight against cancer.

The partnership, set to run for two years with the possibility of further extension, was signed by Dr. Thomas Launey, Chief Researcher of TII’s Biotechnology Research Center, and Dr. Khaled Musallam, Chief Research Officer of Burjeel Holdings, in the presence of Dr. Ray O. Johnson, CEO, TII, and Safeer Ahamed, Group COO, Burjeel Holdings, at the Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week.

BMC, known for its complex care offerings in key specialties including oncology, will leverage cutting-edge technologies from TII, such as its state-of-the-art computational framework to identify patient-specific antigens relevant to cancer, and develop personalised cancer therapies.

In Phase 1 of the project, TII will construct an in-silico platform to identify tailored cancer-specific antigens from single-cell transcriptomics data. This platform will facilitate the design of CAR-T cells capable of effectively targeting cancer-specific antigens. During Phase 2, the in-silico platform will undergo rigorous testing through in-vitro and in-vivo experiments.

Dr. Thomas Launey said, "We expect that this collaboration with BMC will yield fast and meaningful impact in cancer therapy. Together, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation to provide hope to those affected by this critical health challenge."

Dr. Khaled Musallam added, "We live in times when cancers continue to proliferate with a ruthless and growing frequency, impacting the lives of those affected and their families. This is clearly not a struggle the healthcare sector can overcome alone. Creating partnerships that help supercharge cancer research and treatment are crucial to enhance the pace of discoveries and improve patient outcomes. Our partnership with TII will play a pivotal role in the ongoing fight against cancer."

With the UAE fast becoming a key leader in innovative cancer care through various strategic initiatives, the TII-Burjeel alliance is a clear indication of the country’s commitment to collaborative progress in oncology, fostering breakthrough solutions that will elevate the healthcare industry to new heights.

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