Saturday, July 20, 2024

Novo Genomics to Revolutionize Saudi Arabia’s Biotech Landscape


Novo Genomics to Revolutionize Saudi Arabia’s Biotech Landscape

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Dr. Budoor AlMansour
COO & Co-Founder

Budoor Almansour is a distinguished biotechnology expert with over 15 years of experience in the healthcare and biotech sectors. As the Chief Operating Officer of Novo Genomics, she has been instrumental in raising significant startup funds and driving the company’s strategic vision. Her career includes leadership roles in G42 Healthcare and MGI, where she excelled in commercial operations, strategic planning, and partnership development.

With a PhD in Biotechnology from Australia, Budoor combines scientific expertise with strong business acumen. She is renowned for her ability to build strategic partnerships, innovate in genomics and OMICS, and lead high-performing teams in diverse markets including MENA, Turkey, China, and Australia. Her work has significantly contributed to advancements in biotechnology and health well-being.

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Budoor’s exceptional leadership, strategic thinking, and dedication to innovation make her a pivotal figure in the biotechnology industry.

What sparked your interest in the field of genomics and biotechnology, and how has your personal journey influenced your role as the COO and co-founder of Novo Genomics?

Dr. Budoor AlMansour: My interest in genomics and biotechnology started early in my career when I saw how these fields could solve global health problems. Working in various international markets gave me a unique view of the biotech industry and the business strategies needed for success.

These experiences have been invaluable in my role as the COO and co-founder of Novo Genomics. I use my international background to lead strategic initiatives, build global partnerships, and ensure we operate efficiently. This has helped position our company as a leader in biotech innovation, making a significant impact on healthcare in Saudi Arabia and around the world.

What inspired you to co-found Novo Genomics, and what gap did you aim to fill in the biotech landscape of Saudi Arabia?

Dr. Budoor AlMansour: I co-founded Novo Genomics because I saw a big gap in Saudi Arabia’s biotech sector, even though other areas were advancing quickly. Using my international business experience, I wanted to bring top-tier genomic technologies to the country. Our goal was to create a center of excellence that offers detailed genomic analysis and personalized healthcare solutions. By doing this, we aim to fill the gap in advanced biotech services and support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 healthcare goals.

Could you walk us through the process a customer undergoes when they submit a blood sample to Novo Genomics? How do you ensure confidentiality and security of their genetic data?

Dr. Budoor AlMansour: When a customer sends their blood sample to Novo Genomics, we start by having a detailed talk to understand their health worries and explain how the testing works. Then, we collect and handle the sample in our super-modern lab. Using the latest genomic technologies, learned from my experience abroad, we analyze the sample. The findings are put together into a detailed report, which we share securely with the customer using encrypted methods. We take privacy and data security seriously, making sure our encryption, storage, and access controls meet global standards.

You mentioned the importance of raising awareness about genomics and public health in Saudi Arabia. What specific initiatives has Novo Genomics undertaken towards this goal?

Dr. Budoor AlMansour: At Novo Genomics, we’ve started various projects to spread the word about genomics and public health. Using what I’ve learned from my global biotech experience, we’ve set up workshops, public talks, and teamed up with healthcare providers to share information about genetic testing and why it’s helpful. Plus, we’re involved in community programs and work with schools to include genomics in their lessons, helping people understand more about their health.

How do you see the role of biotechnology evolving in improving quality of life and longevity, not just in Saudi Arabia but globally?

Dr. Budoor AlMansour: Biotechnology is going to make life better for people all over the world by helping us live longer and healthier lives. It does this by offering personalized treatments, spotting diseases early, and creating new therapies. From what I’ve seen around the world, things like gene therapy and precision cancer treatments are really making a big difference. In Saudi Arabia, these technologies match up with our Vision 2030 plans, meaning they can boost healthcare and make patients much better off.

What challenges have you faced in establishing and operating Novo Genomics, particularly in a region where biotech labs were scarce?

Dr. Budoor AlMansour: Establishing Novo Genomics in a region with limited biotech infrastructure presented numerous challenges, including securing funding, attracting skilled talent, and building a sophisticated lab from scratch. My commercial and international experience in the biotech sector helped us navigate these challenges by forming strategic partnerships, leveraging government support, and implementing best practices from leading global biotech firms. This approach has been instrumental in overcoming obstacles and achieving our vision.

In what ways do you envision biotechnology contributing to personalized healthcare and preventive medicine in the near future?

Dr. Budoor AlMansour: In the near future, biotechnology will revolutionize personalized healthcare and preventive medicine by providing detailed genetic insights that inform individualized treatment plans and proactive health strategies. Drawing on my international experience, I anticipate advancements in genetic screening for disease predisposition, more effective and targeted therapies, and the integration of genomic data into everyday healthcare practices. These innovations will enable earlier interventions and significantly improve health outcomes.

With the increasing integration of biotech, biopharma, and biomedical sectors into Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, how do you foresee Novo Genomics evolving to meet the growing demands and opportunities in this field?

Dr. Budoor AlMansour: As Saudi Arabia integrates biotech, biopharma, and biomedical sectors into its Vision 2030 framework, Novo Genomics is poised to expand our capabilities and services. My commercial and international experience will guide us in investing in advanced technologies, scaling operations, and deepening collaborations with global research institutions. We aim to lead in genomic innovation, contributing to the growth of the biotech ecosystem in the region and meeting the evolving healthcare needs of our population.

As a leader in the biotech industry, what personal values or principles guide your decision-making process, especially when it comes to addressing complex ethical considerations surrounding genetic testing and personalized healthcare?

Dr. Budoor AlMansour: Integrity, transparency, and a commitment to ethical practices are the core values that guide my decision-making process. My international experience has reinforced the importance of these principles in navigating complex ethical considerations in genetic testing and personalized healthcare. I prioritize patient privacy, informed consent, and the responsible use of genetic information, ensuring that our advancements in genomics are used to benefit individuals and society while upholding the highest ethical standards.

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