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Eye of Riyadh
Technology & IT | Wednesday 31 January, 2024 1:22 am |
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M42 and Broad Institute work together with Microsoft and the International Center for Genetic Disease leveraging Terra

M42 — a first-of-its-kind health powerhouse committed to reshaping the sustainable future of health with technology as a key enabler — and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard will work with Microsoft and the International Center for Genetic Disease. The group will leverage the Terra platform to explore scenarios for precision health discovery and delivery, collaborating with healthcare organizations across the global ecosystem. Terra, which will be deployed on the UAE cloud with sovereign capabilities powered by Microsoft Azure, will be used not only as a Trusted Research Environment, but also as the foundation for M42’s Global Life Sciences Platform.

 

 

 

This supports the intent to advance M42’s data science capabilities for clinical and genomic data integration, access and research, and to improve patient lives and inform scientific research across the world. 

 

 

 

Foundational projects include a best-in-practice Trusted Research Environment - a cutting-edge technology platform that enables life science research through stringent and secure data access workflows. Terra a secure, scalable, open-source platform for biomedical researchers to access data, run analysis tools and collaborate will provide the foundational technology to enable data science, life science and precision medicine growth in the UAE, while contributing to the availability of more diverse genomic datasets for human health research globally. Terra was co-developed by Broad Institute, Microsoft, and Verily.

 

 

 

M42’s Global Life Sciences Platform will leverage existing Microsoft Azure Health Data Services, generative AI-based data models, host advanced tools including M42’s generative AI model, Med42, and drive interoperability and advanced analytics for both research and clinical care. It will allow multi-party users to access data, deploy analytical tools, and derive insights in a safe and secure environment for clinical research and drug discovery.

 

 

 

M42, the facilitator of the Emirati Genome Program, has completed more than 500,000 whole genome sequences to date. This represents one of the largest population genomic initiatives globally and utilizes the latest whole genome sequencing and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies at scale for clinical genomic research, precision medicine and disease prevention.

 

 

 

Ashish Koshy, Group Chief Operating Officer, M42, said, “At M42’s core is the development of impactful technologies and solutions that will, and are already, significantly benefiting our understanding of disease and population health. The agreement between M42 and Broad Institute working together with Microsoft is a milestone in our efforts to advance clinico-genomic infrastructure and further develop our world-class data science capabilities. Our use of Terra on Azure as the foundation for M42’s Global Life Sciences Platform will vastly accelerate our efforts to transform global research collaborations as well as unlock new drug discoveries and a new generation of omics-powered clinical trials.” 

 

 

 

Clare Bernard, Head of the Data Sciences Platform at Broad Institute, said, “Increased representation of volunteers from across the Middle East benefits the genomic research community as a whole. We are excited to collaborate with M42 on their journey of building a trusted environment and their goal of maximizing patient benefit through research, development, and clinical care.”     

 

     

 

Microsoft's General Manager of Global Health and Life Sciences, Elena Bonfiglioli, said, "Robust security and compliance controls are needed to use health data in a responsible way. At the same time, we must enable easy access to meaningful data to aid scientific discoveries. Terra on Microsoft Azure provides these crucial elements, enabling responsible, collaborative research across the global scientific community. We look forward to seeing how the Global Life Sciences Platform will leverage these capabilities for the benefit of the scientific community and ultimately patients."

 

 

 

Dr. Alireza Haghighi, Director of the International Center for Genetic Disease, added, “To predict the DNA sequence changes that will lead to clinical outcomes and devising new therapies, we need to better understand genomic and clinical data across the world. Terra, and collaborations such as this, will enable greater analytics and discoveries. To this end, and in the context of our extensive collaboration with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, we are delighted to work with the Broad Institute and Microsoft to contribute to M42’s Global Life Sciences Platform.”

 

 

 

With the primary objective of sustainably transforming the future of health enabled by technology, M42 is focused on preventative and precise health solutions for people, not just patients. M42 is taking proactive steps to spearhead collaborative initiatives, such as this partnership, to maximize the reach and benefits of these solutions for global health.

 

 

 

-Ends-

 

 

 

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