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Dubai Science Park Raises Focus on Rare Diseases During Expert Panel

Networking platform ‘Advance Health’ created in partnership with OPEN Health, Synapse Medical Services and Connect Communications facilitates discussion on rare conditions

Dubai-UAE: 18 September, 2018 - Dubai Science Park, a science-focused business community, hosted its second Advance Health networking event in partnership with OPEN Health, a medical communications and market access agency, Synapse Medical Services, a healthcare administration company, and Connect Communications, a strategic healthcare communications agency, to address the latest developments in rare diseases.

rare-disease-expert-2Attending the event as part of an expert panel discussion were Dr Fatma Al Bastaki, Board Member at UAE Rare Disease Society and Consultant Pediatrician at Dubai Health Authority, Dr Fatma Al Jasmi, Member of UAE Rare Disease Society, Consultant at Tawam Hospital, and Associate Professor at UAE University, Ashraf Salama, Head of GCC and Yemen at Sanofi Genzyme, Manar Al Nahar, Middle East Country Manager at Alexion and Gavin Jones, Director of Rare Diseases at OPEN Health.

Welcoming the networking opportunity for industry professionals, Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of Dubai Science Park and Chairing Member of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Taskforce of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, said: “With rare diseases, it is imperative to build a strong communication network among industry players and raise greater awareness about the various conditions and treatments. As part of its commitment, Dubai Science Park prioritises the contribution of its expertise to the rare disease landscape. Following the signing of our agreement with Sanofi in 2017, we have launched several working groups to help assess the current rare disease landscape in the UAE, and look at ways in which the conditions can be effectively tackled.”

Dr Fatma Al Jasmi mentioned that the incidence of rare diseases in the region is markedly high. Key challenges in rare diseases include delayed diagnosis, inadequate diagnostic facilities, and coverage of treatments.

The panel discussion highlighted some of the progress to date, including a newborn screening program to facilitate detection of certain rare diseases. The panel highlighted the critical need for all of the stakeholders to work together to address these challenges and reduce the burden of rare diseases.

Sahar Samara, Managing Director of OPEN Health Dubai, said: “Improving patient outcomes in rare diseases is a priority within the healthcare sector. This informative and engaging meeting provided rich insights into how we can make meaningful progress on this front in the UAE. Collaboration between all stakeholders is essential if we are to make a difference.”

Dubai Science Park periodically hosts thought leadership events that connect decision-makers from the government, academia and industry for the benefit of the residents. The destination’s upcoming flagship event, the 10th Green Leadership Series that seeks to promote a sustainable and low-carbon future.

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