The companies did not disclose financial terms, but a spokeswoman confirmed that 23andMe will receive $10 million initially and up to $50 million in future milestones. This deal is the first in seven or eight that 23andMe will unveil in the coming months with major pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
Fighting Parkinson’s is a special concern of 23andMe’s CEO, Anne Wojcicki. Her husband, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, discovered from a 23andMe test that he carries a genetic mutation associated with higher rates of Parkinson’s.
The deal comes at a critical time for 23andMe, which has gathered and analyzed the DNA of more than 800,000 customers by way of mail-home kits that collect saliva. The company, founded in 2006, was interpreting that data to tell consumers about their ancestral origins and their health. But in late 2013, the Food and Drug Administration ordered 23andMe to stop offering the latter