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Abasi Ene-Obong, Co-founder Of 54gene, Exits CEO Position

Abasi Ene-Obong, the Co-founder of 54gene has stepped down from his position as CEO, with General Counsel Teresia L. Bost taking over as interim CEO. 

She will be supported by Chief Operating Officer Delali Attipoe, while Ene-Obong will retain his position as board member as he takes up a new role of senior advisor, continuously supporting the company in growth plans such as strategic partnerships, fundraising and others.

This development follows 54gene’s staff layoff which took place two months ago due to decline in COVID testing.

According to the company: “Going forward, the primary focus will be on the unique genomic research the company has started by further leveraging its genomic datasets derived from 54gene’s state-of-the-art biobank, that currently houses over 130,000 unique patient samples and corresponding genomic data, all with the objective of positioning the company to make contributions to precision medicine and drug discovery. This continues the meaningful work the company has invested in, whilst de-emphasizing the clinical diagnostic business line at the time.”

Ene-Obong is a seasoned business leader with extensive experience in the US, UK, & Nigerian healthcare industries.

He holds a PhD in Cancer Biology from the University of London, a Masters in Human Molecular Genetics from Imperial College London, and a Master’s in Business Management from Claremont Colleges, California.

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He also worked as a cancer researcher and published a seminal paper on pancreatic cancer immunology in the Gastroenterology Journal. Abasi also worked as a life science/ healthcare management consultant for IMS Health (now IQVIA) and PwC in the US, working on projects for many of the top 20 BioPharma companies.

Among other notable mentions, Dr Ene-Obong has been recognized as one of Africa’s young innovators, one of Fortune’s 40 under 40 most influential people in healthcare, and is a Bloomberg Catalyst in recognition of his contributions towards accelerating solutions to global health problems.

He Co-founded 54gene as a health technology company equalizing precision medicine for Africans and the global population through innovative scientific research, advanced molecular diagnostics and clinical studies.

The company is leading many genomic studies across multiple geographic regions in Africa. These studies have recruited more than 100,000 participants.

54gene is working to translate insights from these studies into solutions for the global community and ensure that Africa, a genetically diverse population, is adequately represented in drug discovery and other clinical research.

In relation to his exit, Ene-Obong stated: “I have always believed that the scale of genetic diversity in Africa and other highly diverse populations will materially impact our understanding of biology and lead to better medicines and interventions for the global population, and I am proud of what has been achieved at 54gene. 

I’d like to thank the 54gene Board for their support over the years, and the many talented scientists and technology professionals I have had the pleasure to work with during my time at the company. 

I will continue to support the company and the scientific ecosystem, particularly the African genomics ecosystem. Teresia and Delali bring decades of experience in building and scaling high-impact global pharma companies, and they also have deep insight into the workings of 54gene. I am excited to see them take the company to its next phase.”

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Written by PH

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