Renowned health technology company, 54gene, has opened its newest laboratory where human whole genome sequencing and a variety of other scientific investigations could be conducted in Nigeria’s largest city of Lagos.
The new laboratory which was recently inspected by the Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, is primed to advance research projects designed to facilitate precision medicine for Africans and the global population. Specifically, the new laboratory will strengthen 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 Laboratory which will assume full operation this month (January 2021) is fitted with a suite of world-class molecular genomics capabilities, including the Illumina Novaseq 6000 and NextSeq 550Dx, the laboratory keys into 54gene’s mission to enable Africans to conduct genomics research.
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 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.
Commenting on the significance of 54gene’s advanced molecular capabilities, Founder & CEO, Dr Abasi Ene-Obong said, “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.
“Our vision is not just to address the health disparities in Africa but to distinctly advance research in some of the most common and rare diseases that affect the global population. To do this we need to scale our operations and continue to collaborate on cutting edge research. The possibilities are immense and we look forward to expanding this impact even more.”
During his visit to the Molecular Genetics Operations laboratories and the Biobank, the Lagos State Commissioner of Health said, “This is going to be a mutually beneficial arrangement as Lagos is keen to promote a medical innovation hub in the State.”
He said Lagos State will continue to create an enabling environment for the private sector, like 54gene, to flourish, while ensuring also that the public’s interests are adequately protected.