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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Many people are unaware that genetics plays a role in both quality of life and longevity and this can be improved by diet and surroundings.
Budoor Al-Mansour, chief operating officer and co-founder of Novo Genomics, said that biotech aids the client in understanding their genes and how to strengthen them to prevent sicknesses, live longer, and even slow down the aging process.
“With the use of biotechnology, we can create a complete profile of the individual and provide suggestions for the foods they should eat or avoid, depending on their unique needs. This can slow the aging process from just a simple blood test,” Al-Mansour told Arab News.
• Biotech aids the client in understanding their genes and how to strengthen them to prevent sicknesses, live longer, and even slow down the aging process.
• Biotechnology can also determine whether a person has loose stem cells, indicating an evident aging process that would require them to use more collagen-based products to maintain the health of skin.
“Biotechnology helped in figuring out what are the things that would help with quality of life and longevity. There is meta-genetic science that reveals that our surroundings may reflect on our genes to prolong life and stimulate skin cells, such as a green smoothie, which is a drink that not only works on enzymes, but works on the expression of genes improving skin complexion,” she said.
Biotechnology can also determine whether a person has loose stem cells, indicating an evident aging process that would require them to use more collagen-based products to maintain the health of skin.
At the lab, customers can drop off a blood sample, which will provide them with all the information they need about their DNA, including the hereditary causes of sickness or disease carriers, and even help expectant mothers from having sick or deformed children.
“For example, we have a patient who has a disabled child because her husband is a disease carrier, but divorce is not the answer. This is why we are here because when she got pregnant again, she came and did the checkups and discovered she is pregnant with another disabled child. This is because of lack of awareness, and most of these families don’t know where to go to help them with this issue.”
One of the earliest biotech firms in the Kingdom, Novo Genomics, has been operating for a year with a mission to raise awareness of genomics and improve public health.
With the use of biotechnology, we can create a complete profile of the individual and provide suggestions for the foods they should eat or avoid, depending on their unique needs. This can slow the aging process from just a simple blood test.
Budoor Al-Mansour, Novo Genomics co-founder
“Due to the lack of biotech labs in the area and the need for patients to send samples to Germany, India or other nations, which raises concerns about national security, we chose to open this clinic in Saudi Arabia to save our data here. Additionally, the Kingdom has a high rate of genetic diseases — 30 percent of the population — and we are here to help families identify what they have and prevent future mutations,” Al-Mansour said.
Biotech, biopharma and biomedical are a part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. The Kingdom is keen on increasing awareness about genetic studies and quality of life related to it. Hevolution Foundation was launched in 2021 as a first-of-its kind non-profit organization that provides grants and early-stage investments to incentivize independent research and entrepreneurship in the emerging field of health span science.
According to forbes.com, the foundation receives funding from the Saudi Arabian government for up to $1 billion per year to fund the science of increasing healthy human lifespan.
“Instead of relying on people from other countries who might not understand our culture, we worked with the Hevolution Foundation with the aim of extending healthy lifespan for the benefit of all humanity. We brought the biotech technology and had experts in Saudi Arabia,” she said.
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