On Thursday, October 19, 2023, ACEGID, Redeemer’s University, Ede, announced that it took delivery of the first Illumina NovaSeq X Plus sequencer in Africa. The acquisition of this equipment by ACEGID, is a major milestone for the advancement of genomic research in Africa, as the Illumina NovaSeq X Plus is the most powerful and the most advanced sequencing system on the market. It is capable of sequencing more than 26,000 human genomes per year, and it will allow ACEGID scientists to make significant advances in pandemic preparedness and precisions public health, through super high throughput pathogen genomic sequencing.
In addition, the First NovaSeq X Plus in Africa will accelerate precision medicine, through massive whole genome sequencing of African human samples performed locally in Africa. Furthermore, through the acquisition of this major piece of equipment, ACEGID is now poised to drive R&D and Innovations for Pharmacogenomics and Precision Oncology for African populations, as well as equalize access to genomics sequencing.
ACEGID is a global hub of Excellence for genomic research, and it is leading the way in using genomics to improve public health in Africa. The procurement of the NovaSeq X Plus by ACEGID is a testament to the centre’s commitment to scientific innovation and changing the narratives about science in Africa. Genomics is rapidly transforming the way we diagnose and treat diseases, and it has the potential to revolutionize healthcare in the continent.
“The Illumina NovaSeq X Plus delivered to ACEGID is the first of its kind in Africa. ACEGID has taken delivery of the first NovaSeqXPlus in the African continent. This instrument will significantly improve our sequencing throughput, and will significantly bring down the cost of sequencing,” said Prof. Christian Happi, the Director at ACEGID. “With this equipment, we will remain globally relevant and competitive. We intend to do the first-ever whole genome sequences of African human genomes on African soil. We are continuing to change the narrative of genomics and we are now positioning Africa to regain its leadership position in Science.”
The arrival of the NovaSeq X Plus in ACEGID will have a significant impact on genomic research in the continent. It will allow African researchers to:
- Sequence more samples than ever before, which will lead to new discoveries about the genetic diversity of African populations and the genetic basis of diseases in Africa.
- Conduct more complex and sophisticated genomic studies and generate more data quickly and efficiently, which will help to accelerate the pace of genomic research in Nigeria and Africa.
Speaking further on the significance of this equipment delivery to ACEGID’s capacity-building mission, Prof Happi said, “The acquisition of this equipment is absolutely in line with ACEGID’s vision to build genomics capacity and democratize genomics in Africa. ACEGID and Illumina entered a partnership agreement to establish a genomics training academy at Redeemer’s University early this year. The delivery of the first Illumina NovaSeqXPlus in Africa at ACEGID is part of the road map.
“Young Africans now have the opportunity to perform whole genome sequencing of African human samples in Africa, at a cost that is not that different from those in Europe and the USA or Asian countries. In fact, we have now successfully narrowed the divide,” he concluded.
Ultimately, the NovaSeq X Plus will have a significant impact on healthcare in Africa. It will allow African researchers to: Develop more personalized and targeted treatments for diseases; Improve the diagnosis and surveillance of infectious diseases; and Identify new biomarkers for diseases, which can lead to the development of the next generation of diagnoses, treatments and vaccines against human and animal diseases.
Scientific Communications Officer
ACEGID, Redeemer’s University