Multiomic testing is advancing in Saudi Arabia after Centogene and Lifera declared a strategic collaboration to pool their resources together.

Centogene, a genetic data diagnostics company with bases in America and Germany, will bring its large Biodatabank in rare diseases to the table. Lifera, a biopharmaceutical company owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, will use its presence in the country to establish a network for genetic testing services.

Shares in Centogene were up 41% at market open on Tuesday 27 June. The company’s market cap is $33m.

The joint venture will see the erection of “advanced laboratory and bioinformatics infrastructure,” according to a statement announcing the partnership. This will aid in developing a backbone for national genetic screening and genomics programmes.

Centogene’s Biodatabank, which contains over 750,000 patients from 120 countries, will be leveraged by Lifera to provide patients with multiomic services not just in Saudi Arabia, but also in other regions of the Gulf Coopreation Council (GCC).

Lifera develops manufacturing capacity for vaccines, insulin, plasma therapeutics, and other biologics – it’s now invested in the genetic testing sector, too.

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The collaboration is part of a wider trend of initiatives by Saudi Arabia to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil. As part of Saudi Vision 2030, the health sector is seeing a swathe of transformation.

As per the collaboration, Centogene will receive $30m from Lifera, and will also be in line for performance-related milestone payments until 2033.

“With Centogene’s expertise in the field of rare, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases, we see tremendous potential value for the joint venture to provide more timely and accurate diagnoses which are crucial to patients and their families,” said Dr. Ibrahim Aljufalli, Lifera’s board chairman.