NIH Grants 23andMe $1.4 Million for Genetics Research
the MPR take:
The direct-to-consumer genomic testing startup company 23andMe has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and refine survey tools to further gather data on genome sequencing for use in research projects. After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared that the company’s Personal Genome Service (PGS) was a medical device and did not have marketing clearance or approval from the agency, 23andMe stopped offering the PGS but continued to analyze ancestral information from customer DNA. The company claims to have a dataset of DNA from 700,000 individuals and this grant will allow the company to share their data with other researchers for the exploration of genetic associations with illnesses such as Parkinson's disease. Former and future customers can be assured that the data will be stripped of any identifying information due to concerns about patient privacy.
With these funds from NIH, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the company intends to use its stores of genetic data for various research projects. The grant "enables researchers from around the world to make genetic discoveries," Anne Wojcicki, chief executive officer of 23andMe, said in a statement.
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