Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Former CEO of 54Gene launches Syndicate Bio, another genomics company

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On Monday, Abasi Ene-Obong, former co-founder and CEO of 54gene, an African genomics startup, disclosed the launch of Syndicate Bio, another genomics company.

Ene-Obong claimed that Syndicate Bio just came out of stealth to support inclusive advancements in global genomics. He maintained that the company will drive genomics and precision medicine initiatives in the most diverse parts of the world, starting with Africa.

Jumi Popoola and Estelle Dogbo will be the Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Syndicate Bio, respectively. Wubrest T. Bekele, Wissam Hamou, and Aminu Yakubu will join them as company leaders.

“We will be sharing some of the great strides made in furtherance of our vision and mission in the coming months,” Ene-Obong said.

Ene-Obong founded 54gene in 2019 to fill a void in the global genomics space, where less than 3% of the genetic material used in pharmaceutical research is African. 

Two months after 54Gene announced its initial round of layoffs in August 2022, Ene-Obong resigned as CEO. The layoffs affected 95 employees, the majority of whom were contractors hired to work in the COVID business line, which 54Gene launched in 2020. 

While the company didn’t specify why he resigned, TechCrunch reported that a group of employees levelled allegations of financial impropriety — reportedly “unfounded” — against the founder and ex-CEO, Abasi Ene-Obong, and his executives.

In October 2022, following his resignation, 54gene laid off 100 employees or 55% of its workforce.

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