News | December 15, 2021

Drug Discovery Partnership Announced In UAE

  • Collaboration between Alliance Care Technologies International and Secondcell Bio to accelerate international research
  • The initiative focuses on a broad range of therapeutic areas including CNS, COVID/Pulmonary Edema (ENaC), orphan and rare diseases and Thalassemia
  • Cell engineering biotechnology originating The Rockefeller University that permits accurate mimicry of human disease in the petri dish will be used
  • Scalable financing model allows implementation of drug discovery at scale, or Drugomics™, targeting multiple diseases at once

New York, NY and Dubai /PRNewswire/ - Secondcell Bio and Alliance Care Technologies International and announce new strategic partnership using Chromovert® Technology to establish a novel, cutting-edge research focused on cell technology and rapid drug discovery to combat rare genetic diseases in the United Arab Emirates.

Chromovert has been extensively validated to streamline a key step of the drug discovery process by a boutique biotechnology company co-founded by its inventor, Dr. Kambiz Shekdar, PhD and the late Nobel-laureate Dr. Gunter Blobel, MD, PhD of The Rockefeller University. The present initiative aims to make revolutionary advancements by scaling-up and applying the demonstrated biotechnology to implement drug discovery at scale, with targets including CNS indications, COVID/Pulmonary Edema (ENaC), orphan and rare diseases and Thalassemia.

In the pharmaceutical drug discovery and development process, Chromovert is a cutting-edge technology that goes beyond CRISPR by enabling the creation of previously out-of-reach designer cells for improved drug discovery. The novel technology was published for the first time in March 2021 by Springer Nature: Cell engineering method using fluorogenic oligonucleotide signaling probes and flow cytometry. Founded by Dr. Shekdar, Secondcell Bio brings optimized materials and methods to operate Chromovert Technology to market.

According to Dr. Shekdar, "Our technology can have a global impact on genetics and cell research, particularly in the area of rare genetic diseases drug discovery. At this stage we want to partner with companies that are positioned to move quickly to advance current research toward finding cures. We are excited at the prospect of joining the healthcare revolution taking place in the UAE and having the opportunity to work with the best researchers from across the globe."

Alliance Care Technologies International CEO Michele Tarnow echoes those sentiments. "We have the privilege to work with the UAE's leading hospitals and research centers. By helping to bring Secondcell Bio and Dr. Shekdar's research to the UAE, we help the Emirates achieve their goal of becoming the leader in global health care by 2030. We are excited to work alongside Dr. Shekdar to bring this cutting-edge research to the UAE."

As part of the expansion into the UAE, a world class Scientific Advisory Board will be appointed to identify and prioritize additional therapeutic indications. Dr. Shekdar notes, "As whole genome sequencing of individuals and analysis by AI increases, additional drug targets will be identified, including for personalized medicine. By strategically locating in the UAE, we enhance data collection in that region and can prioritize drug discovery against new and relevant targets."

Tarnow notes additional advantages to working with Secondcell Bio and Chromovert. "In addition to the promising research advances that can be achieved, the advanced technology used to develop S4, our Syndromic Surveillance solution, has the potential to enhance Secondcell Bio data collection. We are excited to explore ways we can collaborate to improve health care across multiple sectors."

Previously, Chromovert was used to create exceedingly rare laboratory cells that accurately mimic the biology of human pain perception, resulting in the discovery and development of a novel clinical-stage pain blocker fast-tracked by the FDA and presented at The White House as part of Governor Chris Christie's panel on the opioid epidemic. The biotechnology was also the subject of a $100M+ natural flavors discovery engine implemented with The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft Foods and Nestle to create human tastebud-like cells for miniaturized turbo taste testing of natural extracts to discover exquisite natural flavors to cut sodium and sugar in the diet.

Demonstrating the breadth and range of technology, Drs. Shekdar and Blobel also established Research Foundation to Cure AIDS (RFTCA) based upon Chromovert. RFTCA is a U.S. 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization seeking to develop a global cure for AIDS by using Chromovert to increase the efficiency of promising, but stunted, investigational cell therapy strategies to cure HIV infection. Sickle Cell Disease, Thalassemia and certain other diseases also stand to benefit by the addition of Chromovert Technology.

The strategic partnership by ACTI and Secondcell aims to realize the full potential of the technology to discover and develop a pipeline of candidate drugs for diseases with unmet need. Currently, the industry average failure rate for drug discovery programs in pharmaceutical companies is reported to be approximately 98%. One key factor contributing to the high failure rate is the lack of cells that accurately mimic the biology of human disease in the laboratory dish. Chromovert Technology has been demonstrated to permit the rapid creation of laboratory cells that accurately mimic human disease, allowing for the improved discovery of candidate drug molecules with a greater overall likelihood of success.

ACTI and Secondcell Bio invite researchers, entrepreneurs and investors interested in learning more about current research, collaborations or investment opportunities to contact for more information.

About Secondcell Bio and Chromovert® Technology
Secondcell Bio is a biotechnology company established to achieve previously inaccessible goals in cell and genetic engineering via dedicated research and commercialization partnerships.

Chromovert Technology enables creation of highly desired but previously out-of-reach cells for improved drug discovery. The technology was invented by Dr. Kambiz Shekdar in the Nobel-Prize winning laboratory of the late Gunter Blobel, MD, PhD, at The Rockefeller University. Materials and methods to operate Chromovert are available for research use only from Secondcell Bio at

Link to detailed scientific publication on Chromovert Technology:

About Alliance Care Technologies International
Alliance Care Technologies International (ACTI) is driven by a mission to provide global access to quality healthcare. At Alliance Care Technologies International, we believe global health is improved when physicians, patients, researchers and entrepreneurs work together to improve quality and efficiency across the continuum of healthcare.

Alliance Care Technologies International develops and deploys advanced technology and artificial intelligence solutions that solve today's most pressing healthcare challenges. We work with industry leaders to design individualized solutions that enhance the patient experience, streamline administrative processes, manage costs, and ultimately, improve healthcare outcomes.

Source: Secondcell Bio

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