Yemaachi Biotech

NEW YORK – (genomeweb) – Cancer research firm Yemaachi is aggressively pursuing its goal of fostering African genomic research capabilities with the discovery of a new breast cancer-associated BRCA1 variant, the launch of a pediatric cancer research initiative, the continued development of a continent-wide cancer research network, and a residency at the Johnson & Johnson incubator JLABS. 

Last week, the Accra, Ghana-based but Delaware-registered company announced the discovery of a new BRCA1 variant at the annual African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) conference in Senegal. 

That variant, called BRCA1 (p.E1046*), was one of several novel variants found in a whole-exome sequencing pilot study called Brecxome. The company sequenced exomes of 106 Ghanaian women, identifying several known breast cancer-associated variants along with the new one.

Yaw Bediako, founder and CEO of Yemaachi, commented that Brecxome is the first whole-exome sequencing study to take place in Ghana, in contrast to studies wherein samples are collected on the continent but sequenced and analyzed elsewhere. 

“It’s a landmark achievement,” he said. “[First], we did everything in Africa, and [second], with a relatively small number of samples, we found a lot of novel hits.”

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