GlaxoSmithKline renewed its deal to mine 23andMe’s client genetic data for disease clues and drug leads. If you’ve used a DNA testing company like 23andMe, chances are your genetic data is in the hands of insurance companies and drug companies — and maybe even in the hands of hackers. Either way, your DNA could be used against you.
Story at a glance:
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will pay 23andMe $20 million to extend its five-year contract to mine the company’s consumer DNA data for another year.
- The drugmaker is searching for hints about genes that might be at the root of disease. 23andMe will get royalties on any drugs developed.
- 23andMe also recently launched a new DNA-sequencing service called Total Health, which sequences your entire exome, the protein-coding part of your genome, which is thought to be responsible for most disease-causing genes. The move is another step in 23andMe’s plan to transform itself into a full-fledged healthcare company that also treats patients.
- 23andMe acquired a telehealth and drug-delivery startup called Lemonaid Health in 2021. Lemonaid doctors are being trained by 23andMe on how to interpret DNA results and provide tailored health advice.
- 23andMe’s concept of “healthcare” is all about expanding the use of drugs by getting people on them earlier, before they even have symptoms, based solely on genetic risk factors.
Do you know who has access to your genetic data? If you’ve used a DNA testing company like 23andMe, chances are your genetic data is in the hands of insurance companies and drug companies.
It may also be in the hands of hackers. Either way, your DNA could be used against you….