54gene Inc has named Ron Chiarello its new Chief Executive Officer in a series of executive changes to better position the health tech startup for more funding and strategic partnerships.
The health data technology company that aims to transform racial disparity in genomics research data globally also appointed Tobi Oke, Managing Partner of V8 Capital Partners, to its board of directors.
Ron Chiarello brings a wealth of experience which should help 54gene achieve its immediate goals. He has served as co-CEO of the company since earlier this year after founding other startups, including Jetalon Solutions, Etalon Technologies, and Orion Metrology. He has also held research positions at Stanford University and Argonne National Laboratory.
Tobi Oke, Managing Partner of V8 Capital Partners, an African enterprise tech venture capital fund based in Lagos, Nigeria, has been appointed to 54gene’s Board of Directors. Before founding V8 Capital, Oke worked as the head of Intel Capital (Africa) and in leadership roles with Standard Chartered Private Equity, HSBC, and Booz Allen.
The statement seen by Technext also explained that Teresia Bost, who served as interim CEO since last October, will remain with the company as an advisor. Bost has over 20 years of experience in health care and has held leadership roles at Celgene, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and Quartet Health before joining 54gene.
Jenny Yip, Board Chair of 54gene and Managing Partner at Adjuvant Capital, said, “We appreciate the tremendous contributions Teresia has made to the company and are enthused to have strong and experienced leaders helping move the company forward,” he added
Temi Awogboro, Founding Partner of Alcent Capital and Co-Founder of Kairos Angels, and MAGIC, venture capital funds investing globally with a portfolio in Africa, will serve as an advisor and Board of Directors observer.
Awogboro previously was Executive Director of TPG portfolio company Evercare Hospital Lekki and regional lead with Evercare Health Fund. She began her career at Goldman Sachs.
Tobi Oke is focused on building an exceptional platform with the help of committed investors in Africa.
“54gene is solving the issue of racial disparity in genomics data and paving the way for more inclusive healthcare outcomes,” said Oke.
“With committed investors and partners in Africa and globally, we are solely focused on 54gene’s original mission and building a distinct and unprecedented platform in its diversity and scale.”
Founded by Dr Abasi Ene-Obong, 54gene is working to bridge racial gaps in genomics research data. The company, founded in 2019, derives actionable genetic insights from research cohorts in the world’s most genetically diverse populations to improve the development, availability, and efficacy of therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics that benefit all populations.
However, undeniable 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 600,000-sample capacity biobank, with 130,000 samples, is the largest commercial biobank in Africa and one of the most prominent in the world.
Considering its influential partner and clinical network on the continent, 54gene has access to millions of patients in actualizing its mission. The company has raised $45 million from leading investors, including Adjuvant Capital, V8 Capital, KdT Ventures, and Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund.
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