Genetic testing company 23andMe has recently announced that they’ll be providing health and genetic-based ancestry data to consumers again after it was put to a halt by the Food and Drug Administration back in 2013. 23andMe initially offered a service that analyzes a saliva sample and evaluates the patients risk of certain diseases. The company believed that consumers had the right to access their own genetic information without a doctor or regulatory agency. Since FDA approval for this is still pending, co-founder and chief executive Anne Wojcicki says that the company spent the last two years “redesigning the entire experience.” While the new data that the service will provide to consumers is substantially less than before, it has already been approved by the FDA.
23andMe will be providing information called “carrier status,” which can tell if a person has genetic mutations that could lead to diseases that may affect their future kin – but this is only assuming that both parents carry the same genetic mutation. It has information on 36 diseases including Tay-Sachs and cystic fibrosis. This service will cost $199, and the company hopes that this move could help solidify their new position as drug developers. Pfizer and Genetech have already agreed to use 23andMe data insights for drug development, and 23andMe hopes to follow suit itself, especially since the data is in their hands.