Revna Biosciences boost Ghana’s capacity to handle emerging infectious diseases

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The opening of Revna Biosciences, a new precision medicine facility, in Accra, has moved a step further in the country’s readiness to offer timely response and handling of emerging infectious diseases among others.

The new multifunctional biomedical research facility targets to increase access to advanced molecular diagnostics as a first step to making precision medicine a reality in Africa.

According to the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, in this era of preventive and evidence-based medicine, diagnostics and research play a very crucial role in delivering total quality healthcare services and improving the health outcome of patients.

“Globally, timely detection, diagnosis and prompt initiation of appropriate therapy are key in reducing the burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases in the population.

Since routine or regular medical screening is not commonly performed by most Ghanaians, most patients present to the hospital at an advanced stage in the course of their disease, minimizing their window of opportunity and this is where precision medicine becomes very important,” he stated.

It is against this background that, he said, the addition of Revna Biosciences to other facilities now enhances clinically important tests among others to be performed in Ghana. This, he observed, will help to get reports on time, eliminate the long waiting time and allows clinicians to initiate prompt treatment for better health outcomes for patients.

Additionally, the Minister of Health who was represented at the opening of the facility said it will help the Ghanaian economy to retain the foreign currencies that would have been used to pay for these tests overseas.

Revna Biosciences seeks to function collaboratively with all stakeholders from across the healthcare sector. Focusing initially on oncology and infectious diseases.

On the back of this, a renowned scientist with, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Dr. Sylvia Anie, also noted that efficient and timely diagnostics rely on collaboration and partnerships.

She, therefore, noted that the opening of Revna provides an excellent opportunity to develop and strengthen linkages with key partners such as the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, NOGUCHI, Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), Teaching Hospitals and the private sector.

The Chief Executive Officer of Revna Biosciences, Dr. Derrick Edem Akpalu, said Revna shall leverage its industry partnerships with global leaders such as Qiagen GmbH, Diatech Pharmacogenetics S.R.L, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft to augment regional efforts to save and improve lives.

“Importantly, the establishment of Revna Biosciences strengthens the West African health sector as countries across the globe seek solutions against future pandemics while simultaneously addressing non-communicable diseases,” he said.

He explained that the purpose-built centre will analyze complex infections, introduce advanced molecular profiling techniques to the region and curtail the long wait times associated with sending samples overseas to Europe, Asia, and other destinations for diagnoses.

Furthermore, given its discovery and clinical development ambitions, Revna Biosciences will facilitate biosample collection, storage, and analysis as a backbone for local and global research into various diseases, he added.

Revna Biosciences intends to operate closely with public hospitals, academia, and other private health facilities to be at the forefront of championing precision medicine in Africa.

The company, according to Dr. Akpalu is committed to the conduct of state-of-the-art biomedical research to uncover the biological constructs of diseases affecting Africans and people of African heritage.

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