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DTU signs agreement on personalized medicine in Singapore

Friday 01 Dec 17


Haja Kadarmideen
DTU Compute
+45 45 25 52 23

Challenges the partnership can help solve

Training and education of clinicians and doctors in how to understand genomics and personalized medicine and apply this in their regular diagnostics practices. This requires highly skilled researchers who can meet, match, and train clinicians.

Collaboration on Data and IT security solutions for securing very confidential and private genomic patient data and on how to share and handle these data across different sectors and countries in a secure way. The sharing of and collaboration on data will also allow for access to analysis of more varied and larger set of genomic data, which will benefit both partners.
A new collaboration agreement will position DTU within personalized medicine. The goal is more focused patient care and reduced costs.

On 30 November, the Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between DTU Bioinformatics and the Singaporean Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR).

The partners will collaborate on research, education, exchange of staff and faculty within Personalized Medicine as well as on IT and Security. Haja Kadarmideen, Head of Department, DTU Bioinformatics, expects the MoU to engage key players in Singapore and Denmark:

“We set out to establish a foundation for joint projects that can impact areas such as personalized treatments on the basis of patients’ genomic data, but also data security and bioinformatics in connection with sharing and analysing patient data,” says Haja Kadarmideen. “I’m very excited to see this unfold, and I look forward to developing our strategic partnership with our Singaporean partners.”

Both DTU and A*STAR have core competences and infrastructures that position them internationally as major players in personalized medicine. DTU Bioinformatics has long-standing experience with hospitals and clinical research centres, and DTU hosts the national supercomputing facility for high-performance computing in life sciences and medical sciences.

A*STAR and its Biomedical Research Council constitute a cluster of competences within various research institutes and disciplines such as genomics, oncology, and organoid biology, making A*STAR a globally leading research institution in the area of personalized medicine in Singapore.

More varied genomic data
Haja Kadarmideen concludes that both partners have a lot to gain from the collaboration and on top they are likely to achieve a more nuanced and globally valid perspective on personalized medicine.

Denmark and Singapore are very similar in terms of size, and both countries have controlled patient records and access to utilize the data from these. Denmark can benefit from Singapore’s patient records being much more genetically diverse, because so many different ethnic groups live in Singapore, and this is instrumental in the development of medicine for different ethnic groups.

Singapore will benefit from Denmark’s very detailed patient records and the organization and ecosystem of Danish healthcare. As an example, Denmark is currently initiating its largest-ever health initiative in setting up a personalized medicine infrastructure for hospitals and clinicians combined with bringing in research institutions.

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