Companies’ work part of a long-term commitment to diversifying clinical trials and expanding access to precision diagnostics globally
PALO ALTO, Calif. and ACCRA, Ghana – Lucence, a precision oncology company using liquid biopsy to bring clarity to cancer care, and Yemaachi Biotech, a cancer research company based in Accra, Ghana, announced today that they are collaborating on a study to better characterize and understand the genomics of breast cancer in women of African descent.
The study– Liquid Biopsy for Detection of Actionable Genomic Mutations in Women of African Descent with Advanced Breast Cancer, also known as the AMBER Study– is a prospective, observational trial exploring the utility of a cfDNA liquid biopsy assay to identify actionable genetic mutations in metastatic breast cancer patients in Ghana. Using Lucence’s LiquidHALLMARK® assay, the study will examine actionable mutations in genes including PIK3CA, BRCA1, BRCA2, and ESR1 in treatment-naive metastatic breast cancer patients recruited from Cape Coast Teaching Hospital with the goal of identifying and evaluating the mutation profiles of cancers in Ghanaian women.
“Lack of access to next-generation sequencing technologies is a critical component of existing disparities in oncology. Through this collaboration, we will make progress toward diversifying research and expanding access to molecular diagnostics in a way that is scalable, affordable, and saves lives,” said Yaw Bediako, PhD, Co-founder & CEO of Yemaachi.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, responsible for almost a third of all cancers in Africa, and the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in Ghanaian women. Yet African populations have been largely excluded from oncology research and clinical trials to date. Although the continent accounts for 17% of the world’s population, only 2% of genomic study participants are of African descent compared to 78% of European ancestry. At the same time, clinical research in oncology has the potential to be high impact in this population due to a fast-growing, treatment-naive population, significant disease burden and the greatest human genetic diversity of any region worldwide.
“Both Lucence and Yemaachi care deeply about diversifying precision oncology globally, have a shared desire to see individuals with cancer treated earlier and better, and believe liquid biopsy is a disruptive force in cancer diagnostics that more patients and oncologists should have access to, regardless of their country of origin. We are excited to partner with Yemaachi on this important work,” said Min-Han Tan, MBBS, PhD, Founding CEO of Lucence.
Yemaachi Biotech is a cancer research company committed to diversifying and increasing access to precision oncology. Using cutting-edge immunogenomics, bioinformatics, and artificial intelligence, Yemaachi is working to accelerate the development of cancer detection and cure strategies which have high efficacy regardless of ethnicity. Headquartered in Accra, with a growing network of partners across Africa, Yemaachi is committed to building sustainable research and community partnerships that aid in the advancement of medicine and ultimately reduce the economic burden of cancer in Africa. Yemaachi was one of 15 African companies to be selected as part of the Summer 2021 batch of Y Combinator. For more information, visit www.yemaachi.com.