Africa’s Geographer Of Genes
Africa Is Emerging As A Test For The Proposition Technology-Driven Genomic Research Can Be A Business Worth Investing In
Nigerian start-up 54gene seeks to be the first private sector enterprise bent on applying Africa’s rich genetic heritage to solve the world’s most intractable diseases – ethically, without boundaries, for all.
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As the global access debate adapts to the stark inequities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool is emerging as a key player on issues ranging from vaccine tech transfer to making more drugs affordable against the spread of non-communicable diseases like cancer to middle- and low-income countries.
Powered by prominent global health philanthropies and the UK’s world-class collaborative capabilities in disease surveillance, the new International COVID-19 Data Alliance (ICODA) is gearing up to address a crucial – and yet unanswered – policy question for public health: can sharing data curated from a diversity of sources provide the hard evidence needed to improve patient outcomes against the virus – not just for today’s pandemic, but for future ones as well? Much will depend on a robust response from big pharma.
Venture capital funds in Latin America have overlooked biotech, leaving an untapped opportunity for local capital markets and US and European investors alike. Chilean entrepreneur Cristian Hernandez, founder of newly launched boutique VC Zentynel Frontier Investments, explains how business – and society – can benefit from launching biotech start-ups able to serve a global market at lower cost.