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Mubadala Healthcare announces first phase of National Reference Laboratory

11 October 2009

First phase laboratory to open in Dubiotech this year with main Abu Dhabi hub scheduled for completion in 2010.

Mubadala Healthcare today announced that the first phase of the National Reference Lab (NRL) will begin operations this year. The 12,000-square-foot laboratory will be based in the Nucleotide Complex at Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech) and will provide reference laboratory services to public and private hospitals and clinics across the UAE and the region.

The National Reference Lab is a Mubadala Healthcare initiative created in partnership with Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp), one of the world’s largest and most experienced clinical laboratory companies. Its objectives are to increase the spectrum, coverage and overall efficiency of laboratory testing in the region, implement international best practice reference laboratory processes, and set a new benchmark for quality standards in the region.

Following its announcement of the project at the end of last year, Mubadala received significant interest in the NRL’s services from around the GCC. Opening the first phase this year at Dubiotech presents the company with an opportunity to capitalize on this growing demand for reference laboratory services, while continuing to push forward on the development of the main Abu Dhabi facility.

This first phase of the NRL will provide high quality laboratory services and improved turn-around times on critical tests, supported by LabCorp’s world-class international laboratory network.

Upon completion of the second phase next year in the Mussafah area of Abu Dhabi, the NRL will ramp up capacity to offer a full range of reference laboratory services carried out locally, reversing the trend of international send-outs and significantly enhancing the region’s healthcare infrastructure.

“The demand for world-class, specialized healthcare services is growing rapidly in the UAE,” said Mark Erhart, Executive Director of Mubadala Healthcare. “Currently, a large number of samples are sent abroad for testing. Our goal is to develop the infrastructure and expertise in the UAE that will help reduce test turn-around times and associated costs, as well as delays to critical diagnoses and subsequent treatment for patients.”

Richard Cotten has been appointed as the National Reference Lab’s General Manager. He has been with LabCorp for the past 11 years and was previously VP and General Manager for LabCorp’s Kansas City Region.

“We are very pleased with the progress of our partnership with Mubadala Healthcare,” said David P. King, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LabCorp. “This project will bring superior clinical laboratory capabilities to the UAE and the region, and we look forward to working with our partners to realize this goal.”

Dr Marco Baccanti, Executive Director of DuBiotech, said: “The setting up of the National Reference Lab by Mubadala Healthcare at the Nucleotide Complex bears testimony to the specialized support structure offered by the region’s leading life sciences park. The laboratory complex, part of our sincere endeavour to augment the region’s biotechnology industry, is designed to create more opportunities for global majors in conducting their research activities.”

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