Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Home Health Cancer Research Startup Yemaachi Raises $3 m Seed Round To Diversify Precision Oncology

Cancer Research Startup Yemaachi Raises $3 m Seed Round To Diversify Precision Oncology

by Milcah Lukhanyu
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Yemaachi Biotech, a cancer research and diagnostics company headquartered in Ghana has raised a $3 million seed round to advance its mission of diversifying precision oncology globally .

The round was led by V8 Capital, with LifeLine Family Heritage Fund, Y Combinator, Tencent, LoftyInc Capital, VestedWorld, V Square Capital and Ethan Perlstein also participating.

Founded by Yaw Bediako, David Hutchful, Joyce Ngoi, and Yaw Attua-Afari in 2020.The company aims to build the world’s most diverse cancer research knowledge base in Africa.”

Africa has been largely excluded from both genomic and oncology research. Although the continent accounts for 17% of the world’s population, only 2% of genomic study participants are of African descent. Africa’s fast-growing, treatment-naive population, significant disease burden, and the greatest human genetic diversity of any region worldwide create a fertile landscape for harvesting groundbreaking insights and improving outcomes for patients.

“We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of genomic data and understanding. We know genetic outcomes are context dependent, including within the genome. Creating a dataset that has the greatest genomic diversity can enable rapid discoveries that have long-term implications for cancer research, drug development, and patient care, not just in Africa, but globally,” said Yaw Bediako, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Yemaachi. “Combined with Yemaachi’s expertise in immunogenomics, bioinformatics, and deep learning, the Company’s expansive datasets can be a force multiplier for rapidly accelerating advancements in oncology.”

“The breadth of expertise of Yemaachi’s highly talented founding team, the clinical partnerships they have already formed, and their focus on leveraging the vast untapped resource of African genetic diversity to discover the next generation of cancer diagnostics and therapeutics makes them a very exciting and valuable investment for us,” said Tobi Oke, Managing Partner at V8 Capital Partners.

Yemaachi was also recently named a recipient of a $1 million grant as part of the Calestous Juma Science Leadership Fellowship awarded to Bediako by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The prestigious fellowship is designed to support scientists who are working towards developing innovations in urgent global health priorities.

The Company has already begun to break ground with novel diagnostics and partnerships. Late last year, Yemaachi launched the AMBER Study in collaboration with Lucence to better characterize and understand the genomics of breast cancer in women of African descent using liquid biopsy. In January, the Company launched its at-home Sheba HPV Test in Ghana to help identify women who are at high risk of cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in West African women.

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