Functional Fluidics Officially Opens Nigeria Clinical Research Center & Specialty Laboratory

DETROIT, Mich. and AWKA, Nigeria, June 5, 2024 ~ Detroit-based global health technology company, Functional Fluidics, has proudly announced the opening of its new clinical research center and laboratory in Awka, Nigeria. The state-of-the-art facility will serve as the company's initial entry into Sub-Saharan Africa, supporting the growing need for clinical trial infrastructure.

For nearly a decade, Functional Fluidics has been dedicated to accelerating the development of life-changing therapies and bridging the gap between clinical research and patient care. During this time, there has been a significant investment in red blood cell modifying therapies by pharmaceutical companies, with a focus on sickle cell disease. In fact, between July 2017 and December 2023, the FDA approved three pharmaceutical and two gene editing therapies for sickle cell disease. Currently, there are approximately 20 pharmaceutical companies developing a pipeline of red blood cell therapies with an initial focus on sickle cell disease. As a result, these companies have expanded their clinical trials outside of the U.S. and Europe into Sub-Saharan Africa.

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The decision to open a facility in Nigeria was driven by the fact that Sub-Saharan Africa is considered the global epicenter of sickle cell disease (SCD). According to the World Health Organization, nearly 70% of the global SCD population lives in Africa. Nigeria bears the greatest burden with an estimated 4-6 million people living with SCD and one in every four individuals carrying the sickle cell trait.

Functional Fluidics Nigeria will play a crucial role in establishing a global standard for defining red blood cell health and generating high-quality data for research and clinical trials. This will ultimately ensure that innovative therapies are accessible to those who need them most.

Founder and CEO of Functional Fluidics, Dr. Patrick Hines expressed his excitement about this milestone for the company stating, "Our goal of facilitating the development of new therapies and improving the lives of individuals living with sickle cell disease in Nigeria and globally has finally become a reality. We are grateful to our dedicated team and stakeholders for their ongoing commitment and support for patients."

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Dr. Nnamdi Okeke, Vice President and Head of Global and Medical Affairs, has been instrumental in managing the buildout of the facility in Nigeria over the past year. He emphasized the significance of this new research center, saying, "Our new clinical research facility brings hope to the millions of individuals with sickle cell disease, the warriors who have never been educated on this disease, and the many families who have lost their loved ones. This research center allows them to actively participate in the development of new sickle cell therapies. This is just the beginning; we have a tremendous amount of work remaining."

The opening of Functional Fluidics' new clinical research center and laboratory in Nigeria marks an important step towards improving access to life-changing therapies for those living with sickle cell disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. With their dedication to bridging the gap between clinical research and patient care, Functional Fluidics is making a significant impact on global health.
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