Abu Dhabi Biobankv2-1715671905648
Announced at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week 2024, the Abu Dhabi Biobank is part of the emirate’s vision of building a unique global biobanking hub delivering invaluable data assets for maximal impact on people’s health.

Abu Dhabi: The region’s largest hybrid cord blood bank has been unveiled with the launch of the Abu Dhabi Biobank. This groundbreaking initiative and strategic priority aim to revolutionise healthcare in the region.

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The healthcare sector regulator in the emirate and M42, a global tech-enabled health powerhouse, have teamed up to create the Abu Dhabi Biobank.

Life sciences

With a capacity to store 100,000 cord blood samples and five million pan human samples, the biobank will create a rich diverse dataset that can provide ready and better matched hematopoietic stem cells globally.

It aims to enhance community well-being through preventive measures and access to advanced, high-quality health services.

Specifically, it seeks to shorten waiting times for treatment, increase therapeutic access for patients, improve survival rates and reduce the economic burden on governments. It also aims to reinforce the Emirate’s position as a leading destination for life sciences.

Abu Dhabi Biobank
• The hybrid cord blood bank is part of the Abu Dhabi Biobank, which will include pan human and tumor biobank in its next phase of expansion.

• The biobank will collect and preserve a newborn’s stem cells at birth, which serve as a ‘bio repair kit’ for potentially life-saving treatments, from both public and private donors.

• Research from the Abu Dhabi Biobank will equip the UAE with an advanced strategy to combat life-threatening and highly prevalent diseases like thalassemia, sickle cell disease and cancer.

Announced at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week (ADGHW) 2024, the Abu Dhabi Biobank is part of the emirate’s vision of building a unique global biobanking hub delivering invaluable data assets for maximal impact on people’s health.

The move aims to create a diverse, foundational, bio-asset that supports therapeutic treatments, life science research for medical innovation, novel drug discovery targets and disease prevention, to deliver the highest level of personalised, precise, and preventative healthcare for all.

The service will be introduced across four leading healthcare entities committed to maternal and child health across the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Prospective parents can avail themselves of this service at Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children, part of the M42 group, Corniche Hospital, Kanad Hospital, and hospitals as part of NMC Healthcare. Dr. Noura Khamis Al Ghaithi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) said, “The launch of the Abu Dhabi Biobank is poised to deliver biobanking excellence across the region.

Dr. Noura Khamis Al Ghaithi

“The wealth of biological and medical data amassed by the Biobank will serve as a catalyst for scientific breakthroughs, expediting drug discovery, thus contributing to the Emirate’s ability to find solutions for local and global health challenges.

It will significantly impact clinical care and patient outcomes, with emphasis on cord-derived stem cell therapies and enable the delivery of local stem cell therapy.

The Abu Dhabi Biobank’s ability to link cord blood, tissue, stem cells, and a wide range of normal and pathological human specimens with established large genomic, proteomics and clinical records, sets the scene for transformative and cutting-edge initiatives.

Promising advancements in life sciences, this initiative further solidifies the Emirate’s position as an attractive destination for global health-tech giants, researchers and investors to collaborate and spearhead healthcare innovations.”

Better outcomes

The cord blood bank of Abu Dhabi Biobank will enable better care outcomes, build the nation’s self-sufficiency in meeting the urgent need for cord blood stem cells, and further enhance regional capabilities in research and innovation.

Stem cells work like a “bio repair kit”, helping to heal, restore and replenish other cells that can be used in the treatment of certain hematological and immune system disorders, like leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow diseases requiring a transplant.


The cord blood bank facility of Abu Dhabi Biobank, situated in M42’s Omics Centre of Excellence, is equipped with state-of-the-art automated technology and best of its kind large capacity biobanking infrastructure that will preserve samples safely and securely, thereby making it viable for research and therapeutic use for 30 years.

Ashish Koshy

Ashish Koshy, Group Chief Operating Officer, M42, said, “M42is committed to advancing health by delivering the highest level of personalized, precise, and preventative health solutions for all.

“The Abu Dhabi Biobank will foster global innovation in therapy development, as it holds huge potential for regenerative medicine, aiding in rare disease treatment, genetic screening, early detection, and scientific research. We’re proud to partner with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi on this initiative, and we look forward to collaborating with them and other healthcare providers to drive progress in health and reinforce Abu Dhabi’s position as a global life science hub.”

The cord blood bank locally collects and preserves umbilical cord cells, offering donors the choice of preserving a newborn’s stem cells at birth, for potentially life-saving treatments, at no risk to them or their baby.

Preserving baby’s cord blood
Expectant mothers can preserve their baby’s cord blood by opting for a completely safe, secure, painless, and non-intrusive process that can potentially save lives and help build a healthier nation.

They will have the opportunity to preserve the stem cells as part of public or private banking, and benefit from this truly groundbreaking programme.

Health platform

Taking place from May 13 to 15, 2024, ADGHW is a major government initiative hosted by DoH, which seeks to accelerate collaboration, innovation, and investment, and brings together researchers, policymakers, healthcare specialists, investors, and entrepreneurs across the global healthcare and life-science ecosystem.

The always-on platform is witnessing a true gathering of pioneering minds and a powerful network of 5,000 attendees, 1,000 delegates, 200 speakers, and 100 exhibitors.

Ashish Koshy
Cerdit: Department of Health (DoH Abu Dhabi)