Nigerian Startup Unveils World Class Scientific Lab In Lagos


Jan. 25, 2021, 3:31 p.m.

54gene, a Nigerian startup has unveiled a new lab, aimed at handling human whole genome sequencing and other scientific investigations.

The startup is a research, development and services company which utilises human genetic data from diverse African countries to improve development, availability and efficiency of medical products that is beneficial to Africans and the global population as a whole.

The Founder and Chief executive officer Dr. Abasi Ene-Obeng indicated that the vision of the startup is not only to address health disparities across Africa but to, ‘‘ advance research in some of the most common and rare diseases that affect the global population’’. To do this we need to scale our operation and continue to collaborate on cutting edge research. The possibilities are immense and we look forward to expanding this impact even more,’’ she added.

“Over the last two years, our growth has been underpinned by a supremely experienced world class team, and the collaboration of key stakeholders on the continent. I am proud of the impact our work is making scientifically and economically on the African continent and globally; and the many scientists around the world, who collaborate with 54gene,” said 54gene founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Abasi Ene-Obong.

Launched in 2019, 54gene is currently conducting research to discover novel biological insights based on genetic modifiers, by deriving information from its unique and rich data set. This will allow the company’s researchers to determine the underlying drivers of infectious and noncommunicable diseases prevalent on the African continent as well as genetic variants unique to its population. The new lab strengthens 54gene’s capacity to enable more research that yields insights from the world’s most diverse populations to solve some of the biggest global healthcare challenges.

The startup raised a US$15 million Series A round last year to help it scale operations and launch new initiatives, one of which is the new lab.

Hosting a suite of world-class molecular genomics capabilities, including the Illumina Novaseq 6000 and NextSeq 550Dx the lab is part of 54gene’s mission to enable Africans to conduct genomics research, and will be fully operational from this month. It is geared to crucially expedite internal and external research projects designed to facilitate precision medicine for Africans and the global population.

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Emelia Kuleke Author