Our commitment to Africa

54gene is seeking to bring novel drugs to the world based on insights drawn from the healthcare and research ecosystem in Africa. In order to do so successfully, that mission needs to be delivered in partnership with the communities in which we operate. Delivering on our purpose requires that we build a new type of life sciences company.

Unique and actionable insights

That new company will seek to reshape the narrative to reflect the leadership role of Africa in the world, as well as reimagine how innovative, world-class care can be delivered in Africa. To that end, 54gene is committed to the following aims to shift the paradigm and reduce global health disparities:

    • Advance better health outcomes for all through precision medicine and early diagnosis
    • Address the high unmet need for novel therapeutics
    • Increase ethical genomics research conducted within Africa
    • Ensure an African footprint for sustainable growth and job creation
    • Build multi-sectoral partnerships for rapid healthcare delivery

To achieve the above aims, we are putting African individuals and communities at the forefront so that our success is shared within the continent.

Advancing better health outcomes through precision medicine.

Precision medicine - an emerging approach to consider the variability in an individual’s genes, environment and lifestyle for disease treatment and prevention - is growing globally, but African populations are being left behind. This is because only 3% of the genomic data that is available to power precision medicine research is from African populations, even though Africans have the highest genomic diversity compared to all other global populations. 54gene is working to change this situation by generating genomics data from African populations.

Addressing the high unmet need for novel therapeutics.

We will seek to ensure that the data being generated from our genomics research is used in new discoveries that would impact the health of African populations, and to have newly discovered drugs reach African populations early, instead of near or after patent expiry, which can be about 20 years after an innovative drug has been introduced to other global markets.

Increasing ethical genomics research conducted within Africa.

We seek to drive greater genomics research on the continent. With less than 1% of global drug discovery taking place within the continent of Africa, there is an urgent need to increase the representation of one of the largest population groups in the world in global scientific research.

We believe that genomics research should be carried out following agreed upon Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) guidelines such as proper informed consenting and benefit sharing.

Ensuring an African footprint for sustainable growth and job creation.

By creating a research and operational footprint in Africa, we are ensuring the growth of the life sciences industry within the continent as well as promoting more research to occur in Africa.

Building multi-sectoral partnerships for rapid healthcare delivery.

We will build partnerships with existing players in the African health ecosystem e.g. pharmacies, pathology labs, hospital systems, physician networks, health insurers, government and non-government agencies etc. to share insights, introduce innovative products via their channels, improve insights into patients, and generally, take steps designed to raise the quality of health outcomes for Africa’s patients.