Nigerian Startup 54gene Launches the African Centre for Translational Genomics

Nigerian genomics research company 54gene has launched the African Centre for Translational Genomics (ACTG), an initiative designed to facilitate translational genomics research by African scientists. The ACTG was launched to provide grants, fellowships, internships, and training to medical students, trainees, and researchers.

As one of its first efforts, the ACTG is funding a study referred to as the Non-Communicable Diseases – Genetic Heritage Study (NCD-GHS). More than 100,000 Nigerians will participate in the study, which intends to broaden the understanding of the genetic basis for prevalent diseases in Nigeria such as sickle cell disease, diabetes, Alzheimer disease, cancers, chronic kidney disease, and more.

“In continuation with our belief at 54gene that genetic research in Africa should be ethical and beneficial to the communities we serve, and that African scientists be at the forefront of new drug discoveries that benefit Africans and the world at large, we have set up the ACTG to harness translational genetic research across Africa,” said 54gene CEO Abasi Ene-Obong, PhD. “The NCD-GHS is our pilot effort under the ACTG that has the potential to rewrite the playbook of genomics research, where African scientists will be placed at the forefront of new drug discoveries for conditions that affect the health of not only Nigerians, but greater Africa and the world.”

Source: Forbes, February 29, 2020.