We have Launched our Diagnostic Arm, 7RiverLabs to Boost Patient Health Outcomes

Faridah Giwa
Faridah Giwa
December 15, 2021, 4 mins read
We have Launched our Diagnostic Arm, 7RiverLabs to Boost Patient Health Outcomes

We are pleased to announce the launch of our diagnostics subsidiary; 7RiverLabs. The diagnostic hubs fitted with state-of-the-art technology will offer healthcare providers and patients access to world-class, cost-effective, speedy, reliable and advanced molecular diagnostics. Physical locations with over 100 employees are already open in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt, with additional centres due to launch in 10 additional key Nigerian cities in the coming months. Pan-African expansion for 7RiverLabs is also on course for 2022 with new countries being launched from Q1 of 2022.

Since our launch in 2019, 54gene has driven and continues to drive genomics and molecular medicine throughout Africa. During that time we have experienced first-hand the gap in precision diagnostics on the African continent and how this has limited patient health outcomes and precision medicine applications and activities, such as the unavailability of companion diagnostics for life saving drugs and precision medicine clinical trials. This has also resulted in patients and their doctors having to send diagnostic samples outside of the African continent at significant financial and health costs to patients. Built on the vision of equalising precision medicine/diagnostics for African populations, 7RiverLabs (named after the 7 rivers on the continent) through 54gene, has domesticated diagnostic technology; eliminating the need for samples to be sent abroad for analysis; at what is often at a considerable cost to African patients. Physicians will now be able to detect and prevent diseases earlier thereby helping to improve patients’ treatment outcomes and quality of health.  

As part of its mission to establish itself as a principal provider of diagnostic care driven by ultra-modern technology, 54gene has appointed its Chief Business Officer, Jude Uzonwanne as the new subsidiary’s interim-CEO. 

Through the use of state-of-the-art laboratories and marked workflow improvements, over 300 critical molecular tests can now be performed safely and securely in Africa – covering oncology, infectious diseases, genetic testing and sequencing, anatomic pathology, clinical chemistry, microbiology, haematology serving both communicable and non-communicable diseases. 

With some tests costing as little as a few thousand Naira – generally more affordable than the prevailing market rates – results, depending on the complexity, are provided in as little time as a few hours to a few days and are sent digitally to patients’ physicians for follow-up. 

On the launch of 7RiverLabs, 54gene Founder and CEO Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong commented, “Launching 7RiverLabs is a manifestation of one of the goals 54gene set out to achieve two years ago – to improve diagnostic and treatment outcomes on the continent by leveraging advances in the precision medicine space. With the range of tests 7RiverLabs offers, millions of Africans can begin to take greater control of their health.The creation of this new subsidiary also allows 54gene to continue it’s important work of understanding human genetic diversity and translating genetics-driven insights and discoveries to serve the global good. ” 

Jude Uzonwanne commented, “Our goal with this new subsidiary is to ensure that every African has access to advanced laboratory tests without having to pay an exorbitant out-of-pocket fee. Patients will receive speedy results that will guide their physicians in reducing late diagnoses leading to poor chances of survival, improve their treatment options and ultimately their quality of life. 7RiverLabs is complementing Government and industry efforts to attain the Nigerian Ministry of Health’s mandate towards improved care for the general population. Hundreds of molecular tests will be made available for millions of people at a fraction of the cost of transporting samples overseas thereby helping to increase early disease-detection and screening rates and save lives. This is groundbreaking news for Nigeria; and as we forge trusted partnerships with leading health insurers, hospitals and healthcare professionals, we anticipate that hundreds more jobs will be created in our expansion of services across Africa”.

As of 2021, the addressable market for medical tests in Sub-Saharan Africa is currently worth US$10 billion and is projected to grow at 4% per annum. At present, the majority of molecular tests are sent outside of the continent.

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