54gene, the health technology company centered on advancing the field of African genomics to unlock scientific discoveries as well as improve diagnostic and treatment outcomes within Africa and the global community, is creating a trust which it will use to invest up to 5 percent of future proceeds from the company’s commercial drug discovery program.
The creation of the trust is part of its Commitment to Africa in establishing a more sustainable and thriving cyclical ecosystem across Africa’s scientific development space, as well as ensuring better quality healthcare delivery for the communities in which the company operates.
54gene is focused on creating a pipeline of novel drugs for global populations, based on insights drawn from the healthcare and research ecosystem in Africa and wants to ensure that the 1.5 billion people in Africa benefit from its endeavors.
While ensuring Ethical, Legal, Social Implication (ELSI) guidelines are rigorously followed, 54gene is focused on advancing better health outcomes for global populations through precision medicine and addressing the unmet need for novel therapeutics in healthcare.
The company has created a proprietary platform that powers drug discovery through its substantial bio- and data-repository of deeply phenotyped and diverse datasets. It has the potential to power understanding across multiple disease areas such as cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, sickle cell, autoimmune and rare diseases, and infectious diseases.
The new trust has been designed to enable a consistent provision of better diagnostics and medicines for Africans as well as amplifying capacity building within the scientific research space across Africa.
“The biggest challenge in drug discovery in Africa is adequate infrastructure and the extensive need for capacity building.
“As we work on delivering on our promise of precision medicine for Africans and the global population, we are striving to ensure that our work involves current African scientists and leaders in the field as well as supports the creation of more skilled Africans in science and additional jobs across the continent.
“This initiative is designed to continue fostering partnerships within the African scientific body, to reflect the leadership of Africans in global drug discovery research, and to generate sustainable healthcare delivery systems that will ultimately benefit African communities participating in the scientific work that advances better outcomes for all.
It is the inclusion of African talent that will make our drug discovery work successful in bridging the disparity gap within genomics data. Africa has the ability to contribute far beyond the 1 percent in global drug discovery that is currently taking place within the continent, and we believe 54gene will help accelerate those contributions.“
The 54gene trust will be managed by an advisory committee. As the company’s commercial operations grow, the demonstrated Commitment to Africa and creation of the trust will ensure an African footprint and sustainable growth in global drug discovery across the continent.
Global Startup Funding Spikes 157% in Q2 Surpassing a Record $150B
The global startup funding has skyrocketed in recent quarters hitting new historical levels despite the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The recent funding shows that the sector has recovered from the health crisis.
According to data acquired by Finbold, the global startup funding spiked 157% between 2020 Q2 and 2021 Q2 from $60.7 billion to a record $156.2 billion. During the first half of 2021, the funding stood at $292.4 billion.
In the first three months of the year, the funding was at $136.2 billion, a growth of 35.6% from the 2020 Q4 figure of $100.4 billion. Notably, the funding surpassed the $100 billion mark for the first time in Q4 2020. Over the last five years, the lowest funding for startups was recorded in 2016 Q2 at $37 billion.
Startups adapting to changing human behaviour benefit
The report highlights some of the conditions around the funding activity amid the economic turmoil. According to the research report:
“Although the pandemic initially dampened the funding activity, businesses quickly adapted to changing consumer behavior, sparking a massive comeback in funding with robust activity in sectors like healthcare and technology.”
The funding has also played a key role in driving the valuation of most startups. For instance, in Q2 2021, the global number of unicorns stood at a record 136.
Moving forward, several sectors will benefit from the funding, especially for those that have adapted to the changing consumer behavior like health and technology.
Furthermore, the cryptocurrency sector is also likely to witness an influx of investors, considering that several venture capital firms have raised significant amounts specifically targeting the industry.
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