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PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Bhd is acquiring a 51% stake in kidney dialysis operator Aquahealth Sdn Bhd from Rinani Renal Bhd.

Aquahealth is establishing a kidney dialysis centre in Gombak, Selangor, with the licence to operate the centre owned by the Malaysia International Islamic Chamber of Commerce. With the acquisition of the stake, Malaysian Genomics, through its wholly owned subsidiary MGRC Healthcare Sdn Bhd, will now become the operator of the dialysis centre.

Malaysian Genomics CEO Sasha Nordin (pix) said it will be the first of many centres across the country that will be driven by a personalised kidney care model integrating dialysis with nutrition management, lifestyle changes, and genetic testing of patients and their immediate family members.

“Expanding downstream to healthcare services via our subsidiary MGRC Healthcare is an important step in Malaysian Genomics’ growth as a diversified specialist healthcare group. The acquisition of the Aquahealth stake is part of our group’s strategy to secure a diverse portfolio of earnings accretive assets across Southeast Asia that will, in turn, leverage and benefit from our genomics and biopharmaceutical knowledge and experience developed over the past 18 years,” he said in a statement today.

Malaysia International Islamic Chamber of Commerce chairman and National Heart Institute director of clinical research Datuk Dr Suhaini Kadiman added that thousands of kidney patients are on waiting lists for dialysis treatment and new centres are urgently needed.

“We welcome MGRC Healthcare’s interest to collaborate with us to operate the centre in Gombak, and we look forward to the innovations they will contribute to improve the lives of kidney dialysis patients,” he said.

According to the Health Ministry’s management of chronic kidney disease report, the number of Malaysians with kidney disease is projected to increase significantly in the future mainly due to the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and an ageing population. At 13.2% per year, Malaysia has the second-highest annual growth rate of chronic kidney disease in the world. Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has also stated that recently there were over 40,000 kidney patients in Malaysia, with over 8,000 new patients diagnosed annually since 2018.

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