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Nigerian Biotech Startup Becomes First African Lab to Offer Liquid Biopsy for Cancer Diagnosis

Nigeria-based biotechnology startup, Syndicate Bio. has partnered with SophiaGenetics, a cloud-native software firm specializing in data-driven medicine, to become the inaugural laboratory in Africa to offer comprehensive genomic profiling and liquid biopsy services on a continent-wide scale.

The partnership marks a significant milestone in Africa’s healthcare landscape, promising unprecedented access to cutting-edge genomic technologies previously unavailable to patients across the continent.

By leveraging Sophia Genetics’ expertise in cloud-based healthcare solutions, Syndicate Bio aims to democratize genetic testing and empower healthcare providers with advanced diagnostic capabilities.

The urgency of this initiative is highlighted by recent data from the World Health Organization, revealing a staggering 1.1 million new cancer cases annually in Africa, with approximately 700,000 resulting in fatalities.

Alarmingly, projections indicate a grim trajectory, with cancer-related mortality expected to approach one million deaths yearly by 2030 without immediate interventions.

The laboratory promises to bridge critical gaps in diagnostic capabilities, particularly for individuals currently underserved or forced to seek testing beyond the continent’s borders.

Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong, Founder of Syndicate Bio and former co-founder and CEO of 54gene, emphasized the potential of the collaboration, stating, “Through this collaboration, we aim to enable the widespread application of precision medicine in oncology across Africa, thereby enhancing patient outcomes continent-wide.”

Central to the laboratory’s strategy is the integration of cutting-edge technologies, such as AI-enabled solutions provided by the cloud software firm, to deliver non-invasive cancer analysis, predictive genetic testing, and personalized precision medicine.

The approach promises more effective treatments tailored to individual patients.

According to the Chief Medical Officer of SOPHiA Genetics’, who highlighted the laboratory’s role in shaping global healthcare through the creation of comprehensive datasets, the significance of this partnership extends beyond immediate clinical impact.

By leveraging data insights, the collaboration aims to drive innovation, accelerate drug discovery, and ultimately improve health outcomes worldwide.

In October 2023, Syndicate Bio solidified its commitment to pioneering genomic research in Nigeria by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR).

This agreement aims to catalyze transformative studies in both infectious and non-infectious diseases, with a focus on advancing our understanding of prevalent health challenges within Nigeria.

Central to this collaboration is NIMR’s role in providing ethical oversight, facilitated through its internal ethics body and the National Health Research Ethics Committee (NHREC).

By leveraging NIMR’s expertise and infrastructure, Syndicate Bio aims to accelerate the identification of potential drug discovery targets, ultimately driving innovation in healthcare solutions tailored to the unique needs of the Nigerian population.

SOURCE: Nairametrics