September 21, 2022

Meet Gen-t: The Brazilian Startup Working To Diversify Genomic Data

Brazil-based startup, Gen-t, is an organization at the forefront of medical evolution. 

The startup, founded by Lygia da Veiga Pereira in 2021, is a company built on advancing science and medical technology. 

Gen-t’s mission is to diversify global genomic data to help fasten medical breakthroughs and make novel discoveries based on different phenotypes.

Despite being new, the organization has managed to raise $2 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Eduardo Mufarej. 

“The field keeps saying that we need diversity, but most of the diversity in the world is in countries with [the] least developed health systems,” said Pereira in an interview with TechCrunch. 

“Lack of diversity became the mantra for the field, and I saw an opportunity because if Brazil had anything to contribute, it would be with our diversity.” 

According to data by Genome, less than 1% of genomic data is collected from people of Latin American and Hispanic descent, meaning 87% stems from people of European descent. 

The lack of diverse genomic data ultimately creates a lack of balanced information within minority communities, making it harder for them to be diagnosed or receive greater medical advancements. 

Gen-t currently partners with various São Paul and Rio De Janeiro medical centres. Additionally, the platform is looking to expand to reach a wider audience of over 200,000 participants and maintain a consistent relationship with them across five years.  

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Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.