Qatar Foundation’s Equine Veterinary Medical Centre (EVMC) announced the launch of its biobank Inara, which will focus on the genetic preservation, long term storage and retrieval of biological samples from horses.

Inara, which means ‘enlighten in Arabic, represents a national repository for storing valuable biological specimens such as DNA, stem cells and tissue samples. Inara will offer animal owners the ability to safeguard valuable genetic information and secure stem cells extracted at EVMC’s regenerative medicine laboratory.

An animal’s own stem cells can be used to help restore the function of its damaged tissues such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage. The success of this is highly dependent on how quickly after injury the treatment can be delivered, and thus having a readily available repository of stem cell samples ensures that horses can receive timely and precise care.

Inara is also a valuable resource for researchers, as EVMC allows research groups to conduct vital research using Inara’s stored samples and their associated data. This research is crucial in driving scientific breakthroughs, helping develop new drugs, genetic tests, treatments, and creating public health strategies that will benefit animals.

A major stakeholder in equine health

EVMC Head of Research and Education Dr Tatiana Vinardell said the launch of Inara was a natural progression for EVMC in becoming a major regional and international stakeholder of equine veterinary regenerative medicine. She said that the platform will enhance the quality of precision medicine treatments and will contribute to the advancement of equine health.

Speaking on the launch of Inara, EVMC Acting Director Saad Khalid Awan said they are proud to be the pioneer of equine biobanking in the country. Inara represents a breakthrough in clinical and research models, at par with Qatar Foundation’s aspiration to be a leader in scientific discovery. Inara, as the name suggests, will pave the way for further discoveries – both locally and internationally – made possible by a highly qualified and committed team of scientists and clinicians.

Inara aims to serve the equestrian community by providing a safe, long-term storage solution for valuable animal biological samples and by promoting translational research that will ultimately result in veterinary medical advancements that are more effective and better targeted for animals in and outside Qatar.

Inara is currently preparing to undergo ISO/IEC 20387:2018 assessment, the international gold standard for biobanking, to become one of the few ISO accredited animal biobanks worldwide.

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