Platform Agreement to facilitate disease biomarker discovery research
Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), is partnering with global biotech company, Sengenics, to establish a platform for advancing research related to cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders.
At a special event held earlier in October to mark the partnership, representatives from both organizations signed a five-year Platform Agreement that will pair QBRI’s equipment with Sengenics’ KREX protein array technology to facilitate autoantibody disease biomarker discovery research. The agreement covers QBRI’s three research centers—Cancer, Diabetes, and Neurological Disorders. Through this agreement, QBRI will serve as the sole provider of the service in Qatar, with exclusive licensing rights for the MENA region, India, Pakistan, and Turkey.
QBRI’s well-characterized sample cohorts will be analyzed through the platform to facilitate personalized medicine, help gain a better understanding of disease pathology, and identify biomarkers to promote patient stratification to guide better treatment.
Dr. Richard O’Kennedy, vice-president for research, development and innovation (RDI) at Qatar Foundation, said: “Through partnerships with leading international companies such as Sengenics, we aim to build initiatives that address the most pressing local and global challenges from novel perspectives.
“Such empowering collaborations, align strategically with our research, development, and innovation objectives, and help us create opportunities that have the potential to shape our present and future.”
Speaking about the agreement, Dr. Omar El-Agnaf, executive director of QBRI, said: “We are delighted to have formed this important partnership, as it underscores QBRI’s commitment to improving and transforming healthcare through innovation in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Establishing the QBRI-Sengenics platform within our lab space serves the institute especially well because it brings the technology closer to the researchers, thus increasing the prospect of novel and impactful discoveries.
“The decision to make us sole provider of this service in Qatar and the wider region also reflects QBRI’s status as a global hub for cutting-edge biomedical research that’s well-connected to national and international institutions from across the public and private sectors. We’re confident that our partnership with Sengenics will help to strengthen this reputation.”
Commenting on the agreement signing, Johan Poole-Johnson, chief commercial officer at Sengenics, said: "Our fundamental aim going forward is to translate the output of KREX research directly to patients, leading to either earlier diagnosis of life-threatening conditions or delivering the vision of precision medicine. The establishment of QBRI as the Centre of Excellence for Proteomics Research in the Middle East will enhance QBRI’s capabilities as a standalone center, driving regional innovation and entrepreneurship which will benefit Qatar and the region.”