Nigerian health-tech startup 54gene has made executive changes to drive funding and strategic partnerships.
Ron Chiarello has been named as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), replacing Teresia Bost, who will stay on as an advisor. Chiarello, who co-founded the company, has previously served as CEO of Jetalon Solutions, Etalon Technologies, and Orion Metrology.
The company also appointed Tobi Oke, Managing Partner of V8 Capital Partners, to its board of directors. Oke has worked in leadership roles with Intel Capital (Africa), Standard Chartered Private Equity, HSBC, and Booz Allen.
Temi Awogboro, Founding Partner of Alcent Capital and Co-Founder of Kairos Angels, will serve as an advisor and Board of Directors observer.
Founded in 2019, 54gene aims to bridge the gap in genomics research data by deriving actionable genetic insights from research cohorts in diverse populations worldwide. The company has a 600,000-sample capacity biobank, making it the largest commercial biobank in Africa and one of the most prominent in the world.
Its clinical network on the continent provides access to millions of patients in achieving its mission. 54gene has raised $45 million from leading investors, including Adjuvant Capital, V8 Capital, KdT Ventures, and Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund.
Access to genomic data from African populations will improve the effectiveness and relevance of products to the health of African people and channel therapeutic discoveries benefiting all populations.
The company’s latest executive changes put it in a better position to achieve its immediate goals and further its mission to address racial disparity in genomics research data.
Last October, the biotechnology startup shut down 7RiverLabs (7RL), its diagnostics arm, and ousted its CEO Abasi Ene-Obong, who is currently supporting the company as a Senior Advisor and board member.