Consumer data firm Asa Ren, UAE-based G42 Healthcare tie up to support Indonesia’s national genomics programme

Asa Ren, a consumer DNA data company, and UAE-based AI technology company G42 Healthcare have entered into a strategic partnership to support Indonesia’s national genomics projects.

Asa Ren has an end-to-end DNA genotyping platform for wet lab services and bioinformatics, which is being offered to hospital groups, clinics and healthcare companies, while G42 Healthcare has built an Omics Centre of Excellence, which has become the backbone for the Emirati Genome Program, UAE’s population genomics initiative.

WHY IT MATTERS

According to a press release, they will help develop and enhance the country’s genomic sequencing and bioinformatics capability with the use of microarray methods and whole genome sequencing (WGS). Their partnership will support the Indonesian Ministry of Health’s Biomedical Genome Science Initiative (BGSi), which aims to develop a more accurate treatment for major diseases.

They also intend to work on joint proposals to develop and expand Indonesia’s electronic health passport, telehealth, and health data analysis, as well as build a genome biobank that can accelerate personalised healthcare in the country.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

Early this year, Indonesia identified genomics science as one of the six pillars of its healthcare transformation strategy. 

In support of this, the BGSi was launched in August with the aim to establish a credible population database of 10,000 whole genomes over the next two years. This database will be used to support the development of treatments for six major disease categories – cancer, infectious diseases, brain and neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic diseases, genetic disorders, and ageing.

The programme is being carried out in seven hospitals: Dr Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, National Brain Center Hospital, Rumah Sakit Penyakit Infeksi Sulianto Saroso, Persahabatan Central General Hospital, Dharmais Cancer Hospital, Dr Sardjito General Hospital, and Prof I.G.N.G. Ngoerah Hospital.

MGI Tech Co., a Shenzhen-based producer of clinical high-throughput gene sequencers, has been chosen as one of the technology providers for the programme. Together with its local partner PT Bakti Energi Abadi, it will create a total workflow based on its ultra-high-throughput genetic sequencer DNBSEQ-T7RS, MGISP-960RS and MGISP-NE384RS automation systems, and ZTRON data platform.

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