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R&D: 54gene unveils world-class scientific research laboratory in Lagos

By Juliet Umeh

A research, services and development company, 54gene, today, unveiled a cutting edge new laboratory capable of human whole genome sequencing and a variety of other scientific investigations in Lagos.

According to the company, the new lab is hosting a suite of world-class molecular genomics capabilities, including the Illumina Novaseq 6000 and NextSeq 550Dx.
It said the lab is part of it’s mission to enable Africans to conduct genomics research and will be fully operational from this month.

The company also explained that it is currently conducting research to discover novel biological insights based on genetic modifiers, by deriving information from its unique and rich data set.

It said: “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 company added.

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

Prof. Abayomi in the middle, inspecting the lab
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.”

Visiting the Molecular Genetics Operations labs and the Biobank, the Honourable Commissioner of Health for Lagos State, Prof. Emmanuel Akinola Abayomi, said, The Commissioner of Health for Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi, while inspecting the lab said it is geared to crucially expedite internal and external research projects designed to facilitate precision medicine for Africans and the global population.

He said: “This is quite an impressive setup, and I am happy that 54gene has chosen Lagos as its base. I believe this is going to be a mutually beneficial arrangement as Lagos is keen to promote a medical innovation hub in the State.

“We will continue to create an enabling environment for the private sector, like 54gene, to flourish, while ensuring that the public’s interests are adequately protected. “We look forward to partnering with 54gene and other stakeholders alike to power innovation and a sustainable bio economy,” Abayomi added.

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