54gene, a Nigerian health tech startup that is advancing African genomics research for globalized health outcomes, has raised $25 million in a Series B round, which it will use to expand its capabilities to contribute to global drug discovery.
54gene, which was founded in 2019, is a research, services, and development company that uses human genetic data from a variety of African populations to improve the development, availability, and efficacy of medical products that will benefit Africans and the rest of the world.
Last year, the startup raised a US$15 million Series A round to help it scale operations and launch new initiatives, and it has now raised a US$25 million Series B round led by Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund. Adjuvant Capital, KdT Ventures, Plexo Capital, Endeavor Capital, Ingressive Capital, and others also participated in the round, bringing 54gene’s total investment to over US$45 million.
This latest investment will be used to expand 54gene’s capabilities in sequencing, target identification and validation, and precision medicine clinical trials, allowing for drug discovery in Africa for both Africans and the rest of the world. It will also allow the company to begin expanding across Africa.
“It’s truly incredible to witness the impact of African scientists in global research and it is critical to global health that this continues. We want to scale our contribution to global drug discovery by extensively developing life science capabilities on the continent and this additional capital will catalyse our endeavors,” said Dr Abasi Ene-Obong, chief executive officer (CEO) of 54gene.
“In this round we have brought in partners that keep us true to our mission of equalising healthcare and who can help us replicate our success throughout Africa. We believe the world will benefit from an African global drug discovery company that leverages the deep insights found in genomics research in diverse populations and ensures true equity for the African population. It’s exciting to see our company shift into the next gear as it targets becoming one of the top global companies in genomics research.”
54gene will also expand its genomics and molecular diagnostics division across Africa, ensuring that African patients have access to accurate diagnostics and allowing precision medicine to be used in clinical settings across the continent.
“As a pioneer in genomic and precision medicine in Nigeria, 54gene has built a unique health technology platform leveraging African resources to unlock scientific discoveries for the benefit of African and global communities,” said Yassine Oussaifi, partner at Cathay AfricInvest.
“At Cathay AfricInvest Innovation, we’re dedicated to backing innovative, inclusive solutions that connect African technology and research with global innovation ecosystems to help them scale. 54gene works across drug discovery, molecular diagnostics and clinical trials, boosting access and affordability of various healthcare solutions that will have a positive impact worldwide. We look forward to working with the 54gene team on their development on the continent and beyond.”