Yemaachi Biotech

ACCRA, Ghana–(Reuters)— In the open-air kitchen of a small research clinic in Ghana’s capital, Accra, pathologist Kafui Akakpo carefully carved a piece of cancerous breast tissue into a sample smaller than a matchbox.

Hundreds of other samples bobbed around him in plastic jars of formaldehyde, but this one would soon travel across town to Yemaachi Biotech, a Ghanaian research and diagnostics startup that Akakpo thinks could change African cancer studies forever.

“Even though breast cancer has been studied extensively throughout the world, the truth is that most samples are not of Africans,” he said.

Data on cancer in Africa is scarce. While more than 17% of the world’s population, only 2% of genomic study participants worldwide are of African descent, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

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