Less than 3% of genetic material used in global pharmaceutical research is from Africa. The staggering gap is quite surprising because Africans and people of African descent are reported to be more genetically diverse than any other population.
Since launching in 2019, African genomics startup 54gene has been at the forefront of bridging this divide in the global genomics market. Today, the company has secured $25 million in Series B funding to bolster its efforts.
This round comes a year after the company, founded by Dr Abasi Ene-Obong, raised $15 million in Series A and two years after closing a $4.5 million seed round.
In total, 54gene has raised more than $45 million since its inception.
With the world’s analyzed genomes coming mostly from anywhere that isn’t Africa, the continent remains a valuable source of new genetic information for health and drug discovery research.
This is where 54gene’s work is relevant. The company conducts and leverages this research to ensure Africans are recipients of upcoming drug and medical discoveries.
Last year when we covered the company last year, CEO Ene-Obong disclosed that for 54gene to conduct this research, it recruits voluntary participants who donate genetic samples via swab or blood tests.