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Saudi Genome

New era for health

Saudi Genome

New era for health

Introduction

The Saudi Genome program is a pioneering national transformation initiative of Saudi Vision 2030. The program objectives are to reduce the incidence of genetic diseases in the kingdom, establish a genetic database, and document the first Saudi genetic map by sequencing the genome of Saudi population. Consequently, the program will establish the foundation for personalized medicine and genomic sciences in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is the largest genetic based disease discovery effort in the Middle East and it will enable the Kingdom to have affirm its global lead in the field of genetic research for diseases and personalized medicine.

The program’s deliverables will have direct positive impact on the Saudi public health, as genetic information about the Saudi population can be employed in detecting, diagnosing, and preventing various genetic diseases. Further, this will lead to improving treatment options and facilitate use of preventative measures via early detection of chronic diseases, such as colon and breast cancer, cardiac diseases, and neurological diseases. Personalized medicine in Saudi Arabia will achieve an accurate and more compressive approach to its practice. This contributes to realizing the Saudi Vision 2030 in terms of localizing and developing technology in sectors with large domestic spending.

The program also played a prominent role in the field of infectious diseases by studying and identifying the genetic factors that cause the variation in symptoms of the emerging coronavirus (Covid-19) among Saudis.

The role of KACST in the Saudi Genome Program

KACST is developing an integrated interactive information ecosystem that contributes to limit the genetic diseases in the Saudi population. The program has collaborated with various entities including the Ministry of Health, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center in Riyadh and Jeddah, King Fahad Specialist Hospital in Dammam, King Fahad Medical City, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center at the National Guard Health Affairs, University of Hail, and Taibah University. The Saudi Genome Program is one of KACST’s initiatives to transfer and localize health technologies.

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The role of the Saudi Genome Program in reducing and preventing hereditary and genetic diseases

The Saudi Genome Program is working on enhancing the collaboration with the national laboratories throughout the Kingdom through which the samples are collected and then analyzed in order to detect the genetic variants that cause genetic diseases in the Kingdom. The results are also used to predict the possibilities of occurrence and reoccurrence of genetic diseases for the individual and the family, and improve the treatment methods by prescribing the appropriate medicine based on the individual’s genetic makeup.


The role of Researchers in the Saudi Genome Program

The researchers collect and process the samples, extract genetic data, analyze and filter the huge amount of data to identify the variants that may affect the individual health.


Prevention Programs

Current Phase

Pre-marital screening Program.

Next Phase

  • Improving treatment methods based on the patient’s genetic makeup.
  • Early detection of some chronic diseases, and then development of the appropriate treatment plan.
  • Pre-implantation genetic screening
  • Fetal screening.
  • Newborn screening.