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Thu 25 Jan 2007 05:12 PM

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Cert investing in biotech medical research firm

The UAE Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (Cert) is to launch a biotechnology company.

The UAE Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (Cert) is to launch a biotechnology company.

IT Weekly

can reveal that Cert is teaming up with a group of Harvard-trained scientists from the US and India to create the medical research firm, AcuraGen, which will have its headquarters in Abu Dhabi and bases in the US and India.

"It is a fantastic opportunity to bring such technology to the UAE with a team that has got significant experience in this industry," Saif Mohamed, divisional manager of Cert Innovations, told
IT Weekly

.

Mohamed said Cert's investment in AcuraGen was in the region of "several million dollars" but declined to be drawn on an exact figure for the venture.

The company will focus its research on drug discovery in the field of oncology - the study of cancer - and on contract research for life science clients.

AcuraGen will also utilise Cert's recently opened Supercomputing Centre, which features the only IBM Blue Gene supercomputer between Europe and Japan.

Mohamed said there had been "substantial" interest from companies interested in working with AcuraGen.

"The supercomputing centre provides a very big advantage to the company in terms of having access to the Blue Gene, and is a very unique opportunity for them as well as the rest of the biotech and life sciences industry," he added.

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