Akili Labs of South Africa Will Build Africa’s First Commercial Clinical Sequencing Facility

Akili Labs of South Africa, a trailblazer in cost-effective molecular diagnostics and secure genomic data storage solutions, and BGI Genomics, one of the world’s leading genomics companies, have signed a technology transfer agreement to supply clinical-grade sequencing solutions to the Southern region of Africa.

By carefully selecting technology and optimizing processes, Akili Labs provides affordable and accessible diagnostic services. It has regional offices in South Africa’s Johannesburg, Cape Town, Zambia’s Lusaka, and Maryland in the United States.

“Improving the cost and turnaround time of genetic sequencing services will play a major role in expanding precision medicine-driven healthcare in Africa,” said Charles Faul, co-founder and CEO of Akili Labs.

Meanwhile, BGI Genomics, headquartered in Shenzhen, China, is the world’s leading integrated precision medicine solutions provider. Its services are available in over 100 countries and regions, with over 2,300 medical institutions participating.

“Locally provided services have struggled with capacity restraints and are challenged with local pricing of reagents and equipment. Often, the only solution is to send samples to Europe or the US, where sequencing is cheaper. However, this comes at a price: the application for export permits can be a lengthy process, and then there is the risk of sample loss or damage during shipping.”

Ronnie Mao, BGI Genomics’ business manager for Southern Africa, affirmed his pleasure at the progress in genomics sequencing development in Africa.

“With the continent being home to the world’s most diverse genomics data, it is crucial that local talent has the tools and resources to further our understanding of clinical genetics. We welcome the initiative to develop localized genomics sequencing capabilities in Africa, with a focus on clinical genetics and improving health outcomes,” he stated. 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button