23andMe Democratizes Personal Genetics

Tuesday, September 9, 2008 General News
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Sept. 9 23andMe, Inc., the industryleader in personal genetics, today announced a substantial reduction in pricefor its Personal Genome Service(TM), democratizing personal genetics andexpanding the opportunity for more people to benefit from the geneticrevolution. Effective immediately, 23andMe is offering its service for $399.23andMe is able to offer the reduced price thanks to technologicaladvancements made by the company that provides its DNA scanning technology,Illumina, Inc. In addition, 23andMe also unveiled today the expansion of itscustom genotyping content along with new social networking and communityfeatures, laying the groundwork for enhanced customer interaction.

"By taking advantage of continuing innovation we are able to introduce anew chip that will give people more relevant data at a lower price," said AnneWojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe. "We are excited that we are opening doors formore people to learn about their health and ancestry and for more people to beable to participate in advancing research. It is important to democratizepersonal genetics and make it more accessible."

By offering these new features at a lower price, the company will broadenthe opportunity for people to participate in 23andWe, the research division of23andMe. Co-founder Linda Avey explained, "Our social networking platformenables members of the 23andMe community to connect with each other, findareas of common interest, and share information about themselves. We'reexcited about growing our network more rapidly; making it widely availablefast tracks our research mission."

The price reduction is largely made possible following technologicaladvancements by Illumina -- a leading provider of genetic analysistechnologies -- to its DNA Analysis Beadchips, which 23andMe uses to genotypecustomers. The new Beadchip, called the HumanHap550-Quad+, makes use of afour-sample format. 23andMe also has added improved custom content to the newBeadchip, which will include a broader range of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism(SNP) variations and rare mutations not found on the previous Beadchip,thereby providing more relevant data on published associations, as well asmaternal and paternal ancestry.

The 23andMe service attracts a wide variety of customers, from adopteeswho want to learn where their ancestors came from and fill in the gaps in anunknown family medical history, to seniors who want to leave a genetic legacyfor future generations, to the health conscious who want to learn about theirgenetic propensities for various conditions.

Making Genetics Personal with New Community Sharing Features

23andMe has also introduced a new forum for customers to learn and sharetheir genetic insights via new community pages on its websitehttp://www.23andme.com. This social networking functionality gives customersthe ability to create a profile, connect with others, share stories, askquestions about specific traits and ancestry groups and learn more aboutresearch studies.

The company also announced today a partnership with Ancestry.com, whichmakes the rich 23andMe ancestry content available to users of the Ancestry.comDNA service (see separate release).

Joining the 23andMe Community

To learn more and embark on your own personal genetics journey, pleasevisit: http://www.23andme.com.

23andMe is now available to consumers in the following locations: Albania,Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia andHerzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland,Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta,Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania,Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,Turkey, Ukraine, t

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