In line with its constant efforts to consolidate Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading destination for healthcare, and to enhance the competitiveness and effectiveness of the healthcare sector for all patients in the Emirate, while providing the highest levels of quality for all patients, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, the regulator of healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi, announced Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC) a subsidiary of PureHealth, the UAE’s largest integrated healthcare platform, as a centre of excellence in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.
The announcement is a testament to the centre’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and its high-quality services in bone marrow transplantation. Operating according to the best and latest international, evidence-based practices, and led by a team of internationally recognised experts, the centre is guaranteed to achieve the best patient outcomes possible in the Emirate and beyond.
Centres of Excellence are healthcare facilities which provide specialised and distinguished programmes with exceptionally high level of expertise and multidisciplinary resources, allowing them to conduct advanced medical procedures in specific clinical areas and conducting complex researches to provide the highest levels of care, based on the best global practices.
The announcement was made at a ceremony organised by the Department at its headquarters in the presence of H.E. Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, H.E. Dr. Noura Al Ghaithi, Acting Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, Farhan Malik, Managing director and CEO Of PureHealth Group, Dr. Yendry Ventura, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC), and Dr. Fatima Alkaabi, Executive Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC).
The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi outlines six key indicators that are taken into consideration when evaluating whether the healthcare facility can be recognised as a Centre of Excellence. Among them are clinical outcomes, patient experience, patient safety and quality of medical services, levels of employee competency and the facilities’ medical education and research strategies. DoH also assesses the accreditations to determine the healthcare facility’s eligibility.
As a centre of excellence in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, ADSCC will provide an integrated and specialised range of surgical and non-surgical clinical services with world-class healthcare quality for patients who require hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for the treatment of blood diseases that includes autologous stem-cell transplantation, and allogeneic stem-cell transplantation and CAR-T cell therapy.
As the Centre of Excellence in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, ADSCC will establish an integrated laboratory for the diagnosis of Leukemia, headed by an expert team of doctors specialising in bone marrow transplantation. Members of the experts’ team all hold an accredited American or Canadian Board or an equivalent certification.
Given its distinguished and extensive experience, ADSCC will contribute to advancing medical research, promoting continuing medical education, and providing training opportunities for medical personnel from various health facilities.
Commenting on the occasion, H.E. Dr. Noura Al Ghaithi, Acting Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: “The support and guidance of our wise leadership is what inspires us to continue propelling the healthcare sector in the Emirate forward on a path of excellence. As we recognise the first centre of excellence specialising in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, we are enhancing the competitiveness and efficiency of the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi and moving steadily towards cementing the Emirate’s position as a leading destination for healthcare worldwide. What we’re witnessing today is only the beginning of a better and more sustainable future for the healthcare sector in the Emirate. By encouraging quality healthcare services and integrating technology, science, and the best operational practices, we fulfil our vision of Abu Dhabi as a place where everyone can be at their healthiest, physically and mentally.”
Her Excellency added: “The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi has put forth a set of standards and guidelines to ensure operational efficiency and guarantee that centres of excellence in the emirate provide community members with a patient-centred healthcare experience. Patients in Abu Dhabi will have access to specialised healthcare facilities, which provide services of exceptional quality, safety, and high efficiency, led by experienced and competent healthcare professionals.”
To ensure that patients have easy access to high-quality bone marrow transplantation services, the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Council was established, led by the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center, where a group of Hematology experts in the emirate come together to facilitate the provision of bone marrow transplantation services in the Emirate with close coordination with all parties.
Dr. Fatima Alkaabi, Executive Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Programme at ADSCC commented “Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Programme provides a comprehensive and integrated ecosystem designed to implement innovative solutions, advanced research, and cell therapy, while leveraging educational platforms for healthcare professionals and scientists.”
She emphasised the ground-breaking aspect of the programme as the first of its kind to conduct a bone marrow transplant successfully in the UAE in July 2020, and the first centre in the Middle East to offer marrow transplantation for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) in November 2022.
Following the announcement, Shaista Asif Group Chief Operating Officer of PureHealth said: “The selection of the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center as a center of excellence in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation is a prestigious honor. This classification is a testament to our group’s unwavering commitment, under the directives of the UAE’s visionary leadership, to transform the nation’s healthcare ecosystem and provide the highest quality care to our patients, and the center’s dedication to innovative research and collaboration. At PureHealth, we are committed to advancing the science of Longevity, with a continued focus on excellence and innovation. We will continue to lead the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center in setting new standards of care for patients across the region and increasing lifespans for all.”
The Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Programme provides treatment to all patients through the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center as well as Yas Clinic Hospital Khalifa City. Through comprehensive clinical care, starting from the initial consultation to assess the patient’s eligibility for treatment, conducting pre-transplant examinations, to assessing and searching for donors by offering access to international records of bone marrow banks and all cell collections by a specialised team. Stem cells are processed, characterised, and stored for clinical application under the supervision of adept scientists and laboratory technicians.
The Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Programme provides treatment (through hematopoietic stem cell transplantation) for a range of benign and malignant blood disorders and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) with a comprehensive approach to autologous or non-autologous stem cell transplantation or advanced cellular therapies for both adults and children.
ADSCC, a PureHealth asset is a highly specialised healthcare centre focused on cell therapy and regenerative medicine techniques. It was founded in March 2019 to meet growing domestic and regional demand for highly specialised medical services and treatments. The Centre primarily focuses on processing, characterizing, and storing cell products for clinical applications such as regenerative medicine, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cell therapy, and continues to provide advanced treatments such as extracorporeal photopheresis. To date, 13 cancer patients and one MS female patient have been treated by ADSCC under the AD-BMT programme.