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Abasi Ene-Obong, founder of 54gene raises $4.5 million in a seed round

August 8, 2019

 

 

 

 

Abasi Ene-Obong, founder of 54gene raised $4.5 million in a seed round—the largest by a Nigerian health care startup. Ene-Obong will use the funds to implement a plan that houses African genomic data and research to create the world’s largest and first African biobank. A "Biobank" is a large collection of biological or medical data and tissue samples, amassed for research purposes.
 

Why is this important? 
 

Genelex a diagnostics company wrote on its blog "When you take a drug or are exposed to an environmental toxin, enzymes in your body get to work to break down that drug so it can be excreted. Your specific genetic makeup determines how these enzymes work to break down drugs and how you may, or may not, respond to them." 
 

"We haven’t been invited to the table where decisions as regards our healthcare have been made,” says Abasi Ene-Obong, founder of 54gene. Most drugs that are currently on the market in Africa are not made for patients with African DNA. Ene-Obong plans to facilitate in developing drugs based on its genome samples and trials, derived from African DNA samples. By bridging the gap, companies will be able to create drugs that are modeled to treat both Africans and non-Africans. Do you think there should be "pause for concern" in relation to how information/data will be used and stored ethically? Let's chat about it on Twitter 

 

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