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Abu Dhabi Issues First BioTech Inventor-Class Golden Visa to Catalyze “Made-In-Abu-Dhabi IP” to Rockefeller University Inventor Dr Kambiz Shekdar, PhD

Secondcell Bio CEO President Dr. Kambiz Shekdar, PhD becomes first BioTech recipient of a United Arab Emirates Golden visa under the Inventor category. Secondcell Bio joins the American Chamber of Commerce Abu Dhabi (AmCham Abu Dhabi) as the first U.S. BioTech corporate member. Secondcell Bio forms AmCham Abu Dhabi BioTech Committee as the first of its kind in the UAE and the Arab Gulf States of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.

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Summation

  • “I gratefully take this opportunity as my solemn commitment to help build up the BioTech sector in Abu Dhabi with the same home-grown can-do-and-have-done record of accomplishment demonstrated by Emirati leadership, its people, and nation, and to do so collegially with the best of the best of the world’s human capital across frontier technologies who, like myself, are drawn to the UAE with the thirst to pioneer and build better like only possible in the red-hot entrepreneurial climate of the UAE.

As Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates accelerates its emerging BioTech & Made-in-Abu-Dhabi IP creation sector, Rockefeller University BioTech Inventor Dr. Kambiz Shekdar, PhD, Founder and CEO of Secondcell Bio and President of Research Foundation for Cure Initiatives, is empowering BioTech innovation in the UAE through a series of innovative firsts.

Dr Kambiz Shekdar is exporting the proprietary cell engineering technology he invented at a Nobel-Prize Winning Laboratory at The Rockefeller University, Chromovert® Technology, to the UAE to establish an Emirati biotechnology joint venture aimed at developing and commercializing jointly-owned “Made-In-Abu-Dhabi IP.”

Via a nomination from Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi (COAD), the UAE issued the prestigious UAE Golden Visa under the Inventor category to Shekdar on May 21st 2024, underscoring Abu Dhabi’s commitment to fostering innovation and elevating competitiveness in the emirate and marking him as the first biotech inventor to attain this esteemed type of visa.

Dr Kambiz Shekdar said:

“I gratefully take this opportunity as my solemn commitment to help build up the BioTech sector in Abu Dhabi with the same home-grown can-do-and-have-done record of accomplishment demonstrated by Emirati leadership, its people, and nation, and to do so collegially with the best of the best of the world’s human capital across frontier technologies who, like myself, are drawn to the UAE with the thirst to pioneer and build better like only possible in the red-hot entrepreneurial climate of the UAE.”

The UAE Golden visa is a long-term residence visa that enables foreign talents to live, work or study in the UAE while enjoying exclusive benefits, such as the privilege of not needing a sponsor. Investors, entrepreneurs, scientists and humanitarian pioneers are among those eligible for the Golden visa.

Secondcell Bio joined AmCham Abu Dhabi as the first BioTech corporate member for its support to help accelerate the emerging BioTech sector of the UAE. Shekdar chose to partner with AmCham Abu Dhabi following thorough consultations with various government and business groups, citing AmCham Abu Dhabi’s proactive leadership under CEO Liz Beneski, their exceptional team and expert-led events that facilitate valuable connections between U.S. and UAE-based businesses and individuals.

Secondcell Bio’s decision to join AmCham Abu Dhabi inspired Beneski to advocate for the creation of a new BioTech committee within AmCham, focused exclusively on biotechnology and the businesses needed to help this sector thrive. The AmCham Abu Dhabi BioTech Committee was formally announced on Sunday, May 12, 2024 at the Abu Dhabi Global Health Week (ADGHW) AmCham Kick-Off Dinner.

“AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Mission is to promote commerce, investment and goodwill between its membership, the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates,” added Beneski, “Dr. Shekdar is a remarkable American innovator, and we are thrilled that Kambiz brings his achievements in BioTech to Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We excitedly look forward to the future with him as he launches the new BioTech Committee.”

The first of its kind in the Arab Gulf States, the AmCham BioTech Committee is dedicated to promoting opportunities for U.S. biotechnology companies as Abu Dhabi defines and advances its biotechnology sector. Shekdar serves as Founding Chairman.

Mohammad Mahfouz, Juma El-Ajou and Shekdar co-Founded Secondcell Investment Holding LLC in Abu Dhabi to facilitate strategic partnerships for drug discovery at scale in Abu Dhabi.

“Mohammad and I see countless proposals. This one is different, and the one we joined personally. Our joint venture is not a one-hit-wonder, but rather an opportunity to establish in Abu Dhabi a demonstrated discovery engine technology that has been successfully commercially validated to enable accelerated drug discovery for hundreds, if not thousands, of promising new medical treatments, therapies and cures,” says El-Ajou.

About Dr. Kambiz Shekdar, PhD
From invention at The Rockefeller University to IPO at New York Stock Exchange to scale-up drug discovery for jointly owned Made-in-Abu-Dhabi IP in the UAE, Dr. Kambiz Shekdar, PhD is the first U.S. Biotech Abu Dhabi Golden Visa Inventor transitioning to the UAE.

Dr. Shekdar invented Chromovert® Technology while he was a graduate doctoral student in the laboratory of his mentor, the late Nobel laureate & King Faisal Prize winner Dr. Gunter Blobel, MD, PhD. at The Rockefeller University in New York City. For more than 20 years, Dr. Shekdar has been pursuing applications of the same platform technology, now including pursuing the creation of a joint venture with Emirati stakeholders to implement the by-now validated research engine as part of a national-level public-private partnership for drug discovery at scale in the UAE. Secondcell Bio is a member of the Abu Dhabi, UAE chapter of American Chambers of Commerce. Dr. Shekdar is Founding Chairman of the AmCham Abu Dhabi BioTech Committee and President of Research Foundation for Cure Initiatives.

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