Press Releases

Khalifa University, Mubadala and KELIX bio Collaborate to Advance UAE’s Biopharma Capabilities

Local Research Activities Foster Sustainable Opportunities to Develop Life Sciences Technologies and Therapeutic Opportunities


Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Mubadala Investment Company PJSC (Mubadala), an Abu Dhabi sovereign investor, and KELIX bio, a pioneering firm in specialty pharmaceuticals and complex generics aimed at positively impacting healthcare across emerging markets, today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on advancing biopharmaceutical technologies.

The MoU signing was witnessed by HE Homaid Al Shimmari, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Khalifa University, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate & Human Capital Officer of Mubadala, and signed by Professor Sir John O’Reilly, President of Khalifa University, Ismail Ali Abdulla, Head of UAE Clusters at Mubadala’s UAE Investment Platform, and Hocine Sidi-Said, CEO of KELIX bio.

By leveraging the established and growing expertise in biopharmaceuticals in the UAE, the collaboration aims to focus on new therapeutic technologies, including immediate areas of priority encompassing oncology, metabolic disorders, neurobiology, rare diseases, cell and gene therapies and genome-based therapeutics. The partnership will create local research activities and foster sustainable opportunities in the identification, evaluation, and development of life science technologies and therapeutic opportunities. It will tap into global state-of-the-art vaccine and therapeutic products to strengthen regional supply chains.

Professor Sir John O’Reilly, President, Khalifa University, said: "This partnership is a strong indicator of Khalifa University’s commitment as a responsible research-driven academic institution to bring together leading organizations in the field of biopharmaceutical technologies in order to achieve far-reaching healthcare objectives to drive innovation and create sustainable solutions. The potential of biopharmaceutical products to address previously untreatable conditions inspires confidence in the sector’s future growth potential. By combining our collective expertise and resources, we can make significant strides in developing novel therapies, furthering our plans to positively impact the lives of patients and drive forward the UAE’s healthcare agenda.”

Ismail Ali Abdulla, Head of UAE Clusters at Mubadala’s UAE Investment Platform said: “This partnership with Khalifa University marks a pivotal step in the UAE's ambitious journey to elevate its life sciences sector to new heights. We aim through this partnership to bolster the UAE's research and development capabilities, setting the stage for revolutionary breakthroughs in therapeutic technology. We are confident that by bringing together the academic expertise of Khalifa University, and the innovative capabilities of KELIX bio, we will achieve breakthroughs that will transform the healthcare landscape.”

Hocine Sidi-Said, Chief Executive Officer, KELIX bio, commented: “I am particularly honored, on behalf of KELIX bio, to be part of this unique knowledge alliance and grateful to the leadership of both the Khalifa University and Mubadala for orchestrating what promises to be an exciting value-driven partnership. We have a common purpose, common goals, and an uncompromising desire to advance science and innovation in the United Arab Emirates. Together, we believe we have the capabilities, the network and pipeline to deliver on that shared vision.

KELIX bio’s core capabilities are centered around identifying, licensing, developing novel formulations and supporting regulatory submissions in a range of therapeutic areas, leading to successful commercialization. KELIX bio’s key focus will remain novel therapeutics across a range of modalities including New Chemical Entities, biological and next generation medicines - Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products. These efforts will greatly complement the ongoing research interests of KU faculty of medicine and faculty of biotechnology. Working with the talented KU scientists holds the promise of accelerating a commercially relevant pipeline aligned with global underserved medical needs and the Nation’s priorities.

Khalifa University’s research in biopharmaceutical technologies remains relevant to the region and internationally. The Khalifa University Center for biotechnology received the UAE’s first Department of Health (DoH) accreditation as a non-diagnostic research laboratory. Khalifa University scientists have successfully completed a significant local genome study that contributes to nationwide efforts to build a high-quality, comprehensive reference genome for the UAE population.

Moreover, Khalifa University’s research centers focus not only on academic and scientific exploration, but also on complying with global criteria while offering top-of-the-range research services to stakeholders with its Center for biotechnology becoming the first in UAE to receive EIAC Accreditation for ISO-15189:2012 compliance.

A team of researchers from Khalifa University’s Healthcare Engineering Innovation Group has been named a semi-finalist Discovery Award winner for the UK’s Longitude Prize on Dementia. The team’s iMAGIC smart glasses solution offers dementia patients assistive features including facial recognition, reminders and alerts, zooming in and out to facilitate navigation, phone calls to loved ones, and vital-sign monitoring.