Navigating the challenge of covering breakthrough therapies at MedCity INVEST Precision Medicine

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Our virtual MedCity INVEST Precision Medicine conference, December 9-11, will highlight aspects of precision medicine from the biopharma companies developing cell and gene therapies to diagnostics and the data sharing initiatives to support precision and personalized medicine.

One vexing part of any conversation on precision medicine and breakthrough therapies that have been developed and are continuing to work their way through clinical trials for cancer to rare disease is how to address the practical challenge of their high price tags. Although there are several models to cover the cost of these therapies such as Cigna’s Embarc Benefit Protection program, what happens when someone changes insurers when they change their job? What is fair for patients and what’s fair for companies? When do these conversations even start?

The panel, Reimbursement Models for Cell and Gene Therapies, will highlight some of the pros and cons of different models that are coming to market. Panelists include Laura Okpala, Director, Reimbursement Policy, Gilead Sciences, and Mark Trusheim, Strategic Director, NEWDIGS initiative at the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation.

Here’s a preview of some of the sessions. Click here to see the agenda.

Interoperability Progress Report

How far have we progressed with sharing patient medical records? Patient data is key in unlocking riddles of medical science but interoperability is necessary to facilitate this. What companies are making an impact on a regional and national scale? What milestones are on the horizon? What obstacles continue to vex further advancement? How can we make medical records more accessible to patients?

Moderator: Elise Reuter, Senior Reporter, MedCity News
Kevin Chaney, Senior Program Manager, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT
Ida Sim, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Niko Skievaski, Co-Founder and President, Redox

What It Takes To Build A Successful, Regional BioInnovation Hub
Philadelphia is one of many cities seeking to support the continued growth of cell and gene therapy and connected health industries. What do cities need to do to address education, training and other needs to support these sectors? This session will be held as part of Venture Cafe Philadelphia.

(sponsored by IBX)

Lisa Dalton, Chief People Officer, Spark Therapeutics
Audrey Greenberg, Executive Managing Director, The Discovery Labs
Tiffany Wilson, President & CEO, University City Science Center

Moderator: Michelle Histand, Director of Innovation, Independence Blue Cross

Register now and be part of the conversation at INVEST Precision Medicine.

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Para athlete pulls Jeep weighing 4,800 pounds for Dubai Fitness Challenge

a person riding on the back of a motorcycle: Para athlete pulls Jeep weighing 4,800 pounds for Dubai Fitness Challenge

© Provided by Khaleej Times
Para athlete pulls Jeep weighing 4,800 pounds for Dubai Fitness Challenge

As a para athlete, Zainab Al-Eqabi has regularly cut a striking figure on the local fitness scene. A UAE resident for the last 20 years, the Iraqi expat lost her leg to a bomb blast in her home country at the age of seven and has used a prosthetic leg to get around ever since.

Despite “always looking” for ways to push herself outside her comfort zone, the digital content creator says she wasn’t expecting to do what she did over the weekend – pull a Jeep Wrangler weighing 4,800 pounds.

The ‘Jeep Challenge’ was a free community event hosted by Fitness Hubs at The Sustainable City in Dubai as part of the ongoing Dubai Fitness Challenge.

“I was attending the event on Friday, watching people drag the Jeep from one point to the other – but I wasn’t considering participating myself at all,” said Zainab. “As I watched them though, I began thinking: why not?” Before she knew it, Zainab found herself slipping on the light green belt attached to the vehicle’s front bumper – and slowly, but steadily, towing it for about 50 metres to the cheers and applause of children and adults alike.

“I really love being out of my comfort zone,” she told WKND, clearly still exhilarated in the aftermath of the feat. “It makes you so happy when you do so and realise that you have the power and energy to reach your goals and dreams.” The vocal fitness advocate added it would’ve been fine even if she didn’t succeed that day. “It’s all about challenging yourself and figuring out who you are.”

Zainab took to social media to talk about the feat and received an overwhelming response. “[This is] the beauty of attending fitness events and activities,” she wrote. “It motivates you to break barriers… to be inspired… I had an incredible time!” The post garnered nearly 52,000 likes in less than a day.

In the video, Zainab can be seen accepting a hand from one of the coaches as she strains against the leash partway through. “I shared that bit on purpose, because it’s important for people to know that, sometimes, you need team work to achieve things too,” she said.

Zainab wasn’t always into fitness. On the contrary, she used to steer clear of any kind of sport. “It was in university that I was forced to include sports in my life, as my doctor warned me that I might run into serious medical issues if I didn’t work on strengthening my back due to my prosthetic leg.”

The influencer was then introduced to gymming, weight training, swimming and cycling. “I was not aware there was so much you could do with a prosthetic leg,” she reflects today. “I think we set these ideas in our minds because of society and what it thinks you can do. But I

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Over 620,000 students from 600 schools commit to 30 minutes of activity for 30 days for Dubai Fitness Challenge

(MENAFN – Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DUBAI, 21st November, 2020 (WAM) — Recognising the integral role that schools play in instilling fitness-focused habits in the country’s youth, Dubai Fitness Challenge, DFC, 2020 is ensuring that more than 620,000 students across 600 schools adopt healthier and happier lifestyles for 30 minutes for 30 days.

The fitness programme of free events, sports activities and family-friendly virtual sessions will continue throughout the month, while a new robust library of free online resources for parents and teachers will further, enable them to motivate children to get fit while having fun. Exciting activity calendars can be downloaded for free on the DFC website, catering to various learning models with over 80 fitness and wellbeing-focused activity templates and games for children aged two to 16 years. For an extra boost at home, kids can also join their beloved superheroes and cartoon characters in online workouts, wellness and dance sessions for free, easy-to-follow exercises and routines.

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, KHDA, commented, “More than any other time, this year has shown us how important it is to be fit and healthy; to have fun and to spend time with friends and family. The Dubai Fitness Challenge brings all these values together. It’s been great to see so many schools and families get together online to build on existing fitness habits and to start new ones. We are grateful to the team at Dubai Tourism for bringing us all together and for giving us a challenge we can all rise to.”

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, DFRE, commented, “For children and young people, the importance of physical activity can never be understated. Now, more than ever, sports, exercise and wellness activities are crucial to inspiring sustained shifts towards more active routines for children.”

Little ones can choose from an incredible range of free workouts that the whole family will love – be it exclusive workout videos from PJ Masks that are released each week throughout DFC; fun workouts with all the favourite characters from IMG Worlds Of Adventure; Les Mills Born To Move music workouts; FIFA and EA workouts, with drills and tricks by Kotaro Tokuda – the youngest freestyle football champion; or special song routines with Papa Smurfs, Brainy Smurf, Smurfette and Vanity Smurf at Motiongate Dubai.

To make 30 minutes of daily exercise fun for the whole family, DFC’s flagship Fitness Villages also promise something for everyone. You can head down to the Mai Dubai Fitness Village Festival City Mall and experience bag jumps, quick flights and the region’s largest mobile pump track at The Arch. Go to the DP World Fitness Village Kite Beach and try out trampoline workouts at Fitbit Rebounder; boot camps, dance classes and functional training at the Teen Fit area; or monkey bars and climbing challenges at the Kids Camp. Enjoy a day out at the park with the Emirates NBD

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Dubai brings together world football’s biggest stars for friendly match as part of Dubai Fitness Challenge

(MENAFN – Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DUBAI, 21st November, 2020 (WAM) — Some of international football’s biggest stars came together in Dubai this weekend for a friendly match that took place on the pitches at Dubai Sports World, inside the air-conditioned halls of Dubai World Trade Centre as part of Dubai Fitness Challenge 30 x 30.

The match was organised jointly by Dubai Sports Council and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

The players who took part in the match have won every possible title in the world of football, including the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, UEFA Champions League as well the Best Player of the Year awards.

The star-studded line-up included Portugal legend Luis Figo, the 2000 Ballon d’Or and 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year winner, who is considered one of the greatest to ever play the game; Carles Puyol, the former Spain captain and winner of the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 European Championships, and Dutch Clarence Seedorf, who is the only player to have won the UEFA Champions League with three different clubs – once with Ajax (1995), once with Real Madrid (1998) and twice with Milan (2003 and 2007).

Seedorf’s Dutch compatriot, Patrick Kluivert who holds the record for being the youngest player to score in the final of the main event on the European continent also took part in the match. He was only 18 years, 10 months and 23 days when he came off the bench to score Ajax’s 85th-minute winner against AC Milan in the 1995 Champions League final.

Frenchman Eric Abidal, the winner of two Champions League titles with Barcelona, also took the pitch alongside the likes of former Spain and Real Madrid star Michel Salgado, Italian goalkeeping legend Walter Zenga, Ghana’s Sulley Muntari and Frenchman Ibrahim Ba.

Mikael Silvestre, former France, Manchester United and Arsenal defender, was also present, cheering his former teammates and rivals from the sidelines as an injury prevented him from playing.

Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of Dubai Sports Council, and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary-General of the Council, were present at the game along with Omran Al Jasmi, Manager of External Relations at the Council.

The stars thanked Dubai for providing them with this opportunity to come together and meets friends they had not met for a long time. The players who took part in the match all share a common love for Dubai and are either residents here or regular visitors. A number of them own properties and have plans to invest in Dubai’s growing sports sector.


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620,000 students accept Dubai Fitness Challenge – News

Children aged between 2 and 16 years can access over 80 free games and educational activities

More than 620,000 students from 600 schools in the UAE have taken on the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC), organisers announced on Saturday. The DFC, which began on October 30, requires participants to commit to 30 minutes of physical activity for 30 days.

Children aged between 2 and 16 years can access over 80 free games and educational activities to take part in the challenge at home or in their classrooms. Free online resources for parents and teachers are available on

Children can “join their beloved superheroes and cartoon characters in online workouts, wellness and dance sessions for free, easy-to-follow exercises and routines”, according to organisers.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), said: “More than any other time, this year has shown us how important it is to be fit and healthy; to have fun, and to spend time with friends and family. The DFC brings all these values together. It’s been great to see so many schools and families get together online to build on existing fitness habits, and to start new ones.”

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said sports, exercise and wellness activities are “crucial” for children. “The DFC is an opportunity for parents, teachers and educators across the city to inspire the youth to achieve the maximum possible benefit from their stay at home and make fitness an even more enjoyable part of their everyday lives.

“Schools are often the first forums that guide children’s interaction with fitness. This understanding drives our motivation to ensure DFC’s robust school and family fitness programme creates a safe environment for children of all ages and abilities. It encourages a lifelong focus on health and wellbeing with meaningful and enjoyable experiences, while adding fun and excitement to their distance learning,” said Al Khaja.

What’s on offer?

Online virtual workouts, wellness and dance sessions are available on

>> Workout videos from PJ Masks that are released each week throughout DFC

>> Fun workouts with characters from IMG Worlds Of Adventure

>> Les Mills Born To Move music workouts

>> FIFA and EA workouts, with drills and tricks by Kotaro Tokuda – the youngest freestyle football champion

>> Special song routines with Papa Smurfs, Brainy Smurf, Smurfette and Vanity Smurf at MotiongateT Dubai.

[email protected]

Staff Reporter

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DMCC Executive Chairman and CEO joins last day of Dubai fitness challenge in JLT Park

Dubai: On Saturday 14 November, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, joined the last set of activities at the DMCC Fitness Hub, in the JLT Park. Along with DMCC employees, JLT residents and visitors, Bin Sulayem took part in forming a huge human symbol spelling out “JLT by DMCC”.

Between 6 and 14 November, DMCC hosted a range of sessions and classes catering to all ages and levels as part of the city-wide Dubai Fitness Challenge. DMCC has been a proud host of the initiative since 2018. Supporting community health and wellbeing initiatives and efforts is inherent in the ethos of the UAE, DMCC and Bin Sulayem himself.

JLT is one of the most dynamic urban districts in Dubai and home to a growing diverse community of over 100,00 who live, work and visit the area.


Media Enquiries: 
PR & Corporate Communications
[email protected] 

About DMCC

Headquartered in Dubai, DMCC is the world’s most interconnected Free Zone, and the leading trade and enterprise hub for commodities. Whether developing vibrant neighbourhoods with world-class property like Jumeirah Lakes Towers and the much-anticipated Uptown Dubai, or delivering high performance business services, DMCC provides everything its dynamic community needs to live, work and thrive. Made for Trade, DMCC is proud to sustain and grow Dubai’s position as the place to be for global trade today and long into the future. 

© Press Release 2020

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Dubai Fitness Challenge, COVID-19 and IPL in UAE

UAE: Health and well-being activities

The weather is so pleasing, and the temperatures have dropped (“Complete guide of Dubai Fitness Challenge 2020”, Gulf News, November 01). We all love to reconnect with our childhood, feel free, and now the Dubai Government’s initiative – fitness challenge is something to be a part of. The events, the camaraderie, and the feeling of being fit is something we all need. So let’s make the best of these opportunities, especially when the weather is on our side. I remember reading a quote: ‘Fitness first begins in the mind, then in the gym.’

Meanwhile, we also have the Sharjah book fair, another not-to-be-missed event. In this tech-savvy world, where everything is readily available on our smart devices, the thrill of holding a book and reading is simply heavenly. Parents often try to introduce our children to the joy of reading. I will make the best use of both these awe-inspiring and motivating events for the mind, body, and soul.

Countries should commit to working together to combat COVID-19

The year 2020 has been the year of COVID-19, also marked by much political turmoil (“India-made COVID-19 vaccine could be launched as early as February – government scientist”, Gulf News, November 05). Some of the cantankerous issues were lockdown strategies, COVID-19 virus origination, election interference, and so on. This has impacted the rapid discovery of the vaccine to treat COVID-19. China and Russia have launched their vaccines and commenced inoculations. India is planning to launch its vaccine in February 2021. The USA and the UK are in the middle of trials. If all counties had shared information, we could have had a universal vaccine, manufacturable globally, much faster.

Hopefully, in 2021 all nations, particularly the superpowers, work together on COVID-19. Countries enjoy being first. However, on issues of human life, we have to think beyond political boundaries. There are three significant challenges to COVID-19 in 2021. First, a universally accepted vaccine has to be agreed upon. Nations should cooperate to finalise the vaccine expeditiously to save lives. Second, the vaccine has to be rolled out to 7.8 billion people in cities and villages. The blueprints to distribute the vaccine should commence now. Third, the vaccine has to be reasonably priced so that everyone can afford it. Industry experts have opined that the COVID-19 vaccine may be a USD 10 billion-plus market per annum, since more than one dose may be necessary. Prices must be kept reasonable, or governments should inoculate their citizens free.

IPL: Sledging is not going to worry Virat Kohli

It is a bit of timely advice to the Australian team by their former skipper, Steve Waugh, not to get into a war of words with Virat Kohli during the upcoming Test series in Australia. It might end up providing extra motivation not just to Kohli but the entire team. It seems experience speaks as Steve Waugh was at the receiving end during his turn around a series loss to Sourav Ganguly, who got into

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Ski Dubai warms up for Dubai Fitness Challenge

Dubai, UAE: To coincide with the Dubai Fitness Challenge (30 October – 28 November), Ski Dubai will host a series of free-to-attend activities, which will make it fun and easy for everyone to complete their 30 minutes of physical activity. Having recently hosted a ‘snowga’ class to kickstart the 30-day challenge, HIIT and hiking will get a cool new twist on the slopes of Ski Dubai, where temperatures are -4⁰C.

The indoor ski resort regularly hosts fun and innovative events in line with its goals to make the UAE and Ski Dubai an international destination for sport and in support of the UAE’s efforts to encourage an active lifestyle. The sessions are suitable for all fitness levels, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned athlete, and are sure to get your heart pumping!


  • Date: 10 November & 15 November
  • Time: 8-9am
  • Maximum number of participants: 30 

Why not trade in your sneakers for a pair of hiking boots and kick-start your morning with a snow hike on the slopes of Ski Dubai? Hosted by local hiking experts, Adventurati, this one-hour hike will get your blood pumping and your legs working.

Ski Dubai jackets, trousers and boots can be utilized on the day if required. Gym leggings/work out attire would be advisable.

Advance booking is required as maximum capacities apply. Bookings can be made through Ski Dubai Call Centre on 800386. 


  • Date: 22 November
  • Time: 8-8.30
  • Maximum number of participants: 20 

Ski Dubai is partnering with world-renowned fitness studio F45 for a high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which is sure to give you a complete fitness workout.

Each participant must bring their own towel. Ski Dubai jackets and trousers can be used on the day if required however, gym leggings/work out attire is recommended.

The session is free but advance booking is required as maximum capacities apply. Bookings can be made through the Mind and Body App: 

Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) is an annual celebration of all things fitness and wellness, engaging over 1 million participants across all demographic sectors. Launched in 2017, the initiative challenges everyone in the city to complete 30 minutes of activity a day for 30 days. Dubai Fitness Challenge heralds a month-long calendar of exciting fitness events and wellness-focused entertainment to get and keep Dubai up and on its feet. It not only cultivates fitness-focused mindsets but also inspires Dubai’s residents to work towards a common goal of maintaining healthier, active lifestyles in the long run.

Dubai Fitness Challenge is an annual celebration of fitness and wellness. Launched in 2017, the challenge is simple: complete 30 minutes of activity each day for 30 days. Dubai Fitness Challenge helps create a fitness-focused mindset and inspires us all to seek healthy, active lifestyles. 

For more information about Ski Dubai visit or follow @skidxb on social media channels.


About Majid Al Futtaim

Founded in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across

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JBR and Bay Avenue shape up for Dubai Fitness Challenge with activations and offers

Dubai, UAE: Dubai Retail, the retail management arm of Dubai Holding, has partnered with Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) and select tenants to support visitors at Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) and Bay Avenue, two of its prime destinations, during the annual celebration of fitness which encourages the pursuit of an active lifestyle through 30 minutes of activity daily for 30 days.

In line with DFC’s aim to make the UAE “the most active country in the world”, JBR and Bay Avenue have joined this year’s ‘City is a Gym’ initiative, providing free workouts via the DFC flagpole. Workouts provided by top Dubai trainers including Yasmin Baker, Samia Kallidis and Domia Economides are available simply by scanning the QR code on the flagpole.

Weekly fitness activations have also been scheduled for Friday mornings at Dubai’s premier beachfront destination, The Walk at JBR, in partnership with UFC Gym, the trailblazer of MMA-inspired fitness. The free 45-minute classes will take place at 9am on November 13 and 20 at the UFC Gym venue. Registration is mandatory, and bookings can be made by calling 800 UFCGYM. Visitors are required to bring their own towels, mats and water in line with precautionary measures.

To offer additional encouragement, selected retail and F&B outlets in Bay Avenue and JBR are serving up some amazing discounts to visitors who can prove their 30-minute workout on any fitness tracking device. WOFL in JBR is offering 30% discount on their entire menu while at Bay Avenue, Kcal, Café Funkie Town, and Tangerine Restaurant are offering 30% discount, while Zaatar w Zeit (15%), and West Zone Fresh (16%) are also getting in on the act with discounts.

Anyone who catches the fitness bug will be eligible for 30% discount on a membership at GFX, the premier fitness destination in the heart of Bay Avenue. Participants looking for some post-workout pampering can visit Nstyle, Belle Femme and Sisters Beauty Salon, who are all offering a minimum of 20% off. Other retailers in Bay Avenue offering 30% off to fitness fans are Car Fare, Phone to Go Electronics and Fabiani Shoes Trading. Terms and conditions apply.


About Dubai Retail

Dubai Retail, the retail management arm of Dubai Holding, focuses on developing, operating and managing the company’s extensive range of strategically located retail assets across prime destinations and communities. This primarily supports the growth and expansion of local and global retail partners through the delivery of holistic, convenient and diverse retail solutions. With a retail footprint spanning two million square feet, its 13 mixed-use properties comprise over 1,000 multi-format units across eight key locations in the city.

The company’s differentiated portfolio incorporates Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), a premier beachfront attraction, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, one of Dubai’s most sought-after tourist destinations, and Jumeirah Emirates Towers, situated in the heart of the city’s financial hub, as well as Bay Avenue and Bay Square in Business Bay. Its community centres cater to a wide catchment within popular suburban districts, such as Mudon, Al Waha and Layan in

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Helping athletes affected by sexual violence: my challenge to the sports and exercise medicine community

My childhood story

If you saw me in clinic as a young kid, you would almost certainly describe me as healthy, active, energetic and high achieving. I wore a smile as wide as my face and talked excitedly about my friends, sports and summer plans whenever asked. What you wouldn’t know about me was that in third grade, I was raped by a member of my extended family; and throughout middle and high school, I was sexually and emotionally abused by an alcoholic parent. You would not know this as a clinician because I always wore an impenetrable shield in order to get through my visit with you. My smile and kindness served as a mask to hide what I felt were the shameful, dark parts of me, and my costume always included some combination of athletic clothes and sports equipment.

Contrary to many recent high-profile cases,1 I was not subjected to sexual violence in sport. Yet sport was fully enmeshed in my experiences of sexual violence. Beyond the genuine joy and happiness I felt while playing sports, they provided me a necessary sense of safety and belonging outside my home and important safety from my unrelenting shame and fear. Simply put: sports saved my life.

My challenging experiences with clinicians

The summer before ninth grade, at a time when I was actively experiencing abuse, I visited my paediatrician for a preparticipation sports examination. My physician noted that I had lost a significant amount of weight since my last physical. I had never been preoccupied with my weight, but he accused me of restricting food and suggested treatment for anorexia. This was not the issue, but my truth was not important to him. He had convinced himself that he knew my struggle without even giving me the opportunity to speak my truth.

During my junior soccer season in college, after a bout with bronchitis, I found myself struggling to breathe during exercise. I met with multiple doctors and underwent numerous tests. The tests always came back negative and were often accompanied with ‘there is nothing I can do for you’ or ‘maybe it’s time to stop playing sports’. Still sidelined, my athletic trainer encouraged me to visit one more specialist who listened carefully to my symptoms and ultimately diagnosed me with exercise-induced asthma. It was a game-changer. Though grateful for that physician (and my athletic trainer), I never forgot the feeling of being unheard and not believed by those before him.

The impact of my healthcare experiences

Perhaps the most detrimental aspect of these healthcare encounters was that they reinforced my negative beliefs: that my experiences did not matter, that my voice did not matter. Trust is a central component to any clinician–patient relationship, and the ability to trust is also a major hurdle for those affected by sexual violence. To this day, I struggle seeing clinicians—not because I believe their intentions are not good or that they will harm me, but because I fear not being heard when I

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