54Gene, Africa’s first biotech startup has unveiled its mobile laboratories to scale its COVID-19 testing capacity in Nigeria. It has situated a mobile laboratory in Ogun state, South-West Nigeria.
This is an additional laboratory to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s network of coronavirus test centers in the country. There are now 17 molecular laboratories in Nigeria.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB) andArgentilCapital Partners, a Nigerian-based advisory firm partnered with 54Gene in executing the mobile laboratory project.Arnergy, a renewable energy company, will power the facility through a 10kVA solar power solution.
According to the company, “the lab is fully kitted with vital instruments including an autoclave, biosafety cabinet, centrifuge, heating blocks, vortexes, pipettes, and PCR machines to support COVID-19 testing.”
The mobile lab is a 40ft container is designed as a plug-and-play feature. It will minimize the logistical challenges involved in shipping samples to another location for processing. This will save time and cost which can be channeled into more pressing needs. The startup will pay more attention to ensure the availability of test equipment, protective gear for healthcare workers, and other vital accessories.
54Gene’s stationery lab in Lagos and mobile lab in Ogun State are the first NCDC-accredited private facilities in the country. The plans to roll out more labs were announced during the recently completed $15 million Series A funding round.
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