This conversation builds on our earlier conversation with Shalom, which focused on her broad entrepreneurial portfolio, and updates us on the work of eMQT in Africa. We learn about its expansion, the effect of Covid and how it lead to an awakening of awareness of healthcare disparities as well as the importance of size in terms of potential population sample. We hear about the shift in thinking around the potential for clinical trials in Africa, and how much of the reticence around conducting trials initially stemmed from lack of knowledge and even some fear of the unknown. eMQT aims to tackle this lack of knowledge through education and outreach, and we hear about the programs are currently underway.
The company’s “why” include the following:
- Currently, 95% of cancer patients in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are diagnosed too late.
- The population offers drug naïve patients in multiple disease areas that are accessible through careful planning and engagement. An important shift underway currently is the recognition that not only “communicable diseases” and other tropical diseases can be studied in this way.
- The ‘Rising Billion’ people in Africa are expected to reach 3-5 billion by 2050 representing half of the world’s population. The rising GDP and consumer power offers an attractive therapeutic market.
- Although the patients of African descent make up 17% of the world’s population (over 1Billion), Black People are underrepresented in clinical trials globally reported as less than 3% by the Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS).