Ghanaian cancer research and diagnostics company Yemaachi Biotech has closed a US$3 million seed round to advance its mission of diversifying precision oncology globally.
Founded by Yaw Bediako, David Hutchful, Joyce Ngoi, and Yaw Attua-Afari in 2020, Yemaachi uses cutting-edge immunogenomics, bioinformatics, and artificial intelligence to accelerate the development of cancer detection and cure strategies which have high efficacy regardless of ethnicity.
Dedicated to accelerating precision oncology in Africa and beyond by expanding access to research and diagnostics, Yemaachi has developed a first of its kind pan-African genomic and clinical knowledge base and research platform, which combined with deep clinical partnerships across Africa provides the foundation for innovative products and partnerships to advance new molecular diagnostics and therapeutic targets.
Last year, Yemaachi was one of 15 African companies to be selected for the S21 batch of the Y Combinator accelerator, and it has now followed that up with a US$3 million seed round. The round was led by V8 Capital, with LifeLine Family Heritage Fund, Y Combinator, Tencent, LoftyInc Capital, VestedWorld, V Square Capital and Ethan Perlstein also participating.
“We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of genomic data and understanding. We know genetic outcomes are context dependent, including within the genome. Creating a dataset that has the greatest genomic diversity can enable rapid discoveries that have long-term implications for cancer research, drug development, and patient care, not just in Africa, but globally,” said Yaw Bediako, co-founder and CEO of Yemaachi. “Combined with Yemaachi’s expertise in immunogenomics, bioinformatics, and deep learning, the company’s expansive datasets can be a force multiplier for rapidly accelerating advancements in oncology.”
“The breadth of expertise of Yemaachi’s highly talented founding team, the clinical partnerships they have already formed, and their focus on leveraging the vast untapped resource of African genetic diversity to discover the next generation of cancer diagnostics and therapeutics makes them a very exciting and valuable investment for us,” said Tobi Oke, managing partner at V8 Capital Partners.
Yemaachi was also recently named a recipient of a US$1 million grant as part of the Calestous Juma Science Leadership Fellowship awarded to Bediako by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The fellowship is designed to support scientists who are working towards developing innovations in urgent global health priorities.