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Fledgling Consumer Genomics Field Fattens up with 23andMe Service Launch

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The consumer genomics specialty company 23andMe launched its personalized DNA analysis service today.
 
The web-based service uses Illumina's genotyping platform to analyze a DNA sample from saliva that the customer provides. Customers of the service use 23andMe’s web tools and analysis to learn about their genomic profiles and gain information about their ancestry.
 
23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki said in a statement today that the genomic information “provides intriguing insights into an individual's genetics, with the goal of expanding the collective knowledge base by enabling active participation in research."
 
The offering, priced at $999, will compete with a similar offering announced Friday by Decode Genetics, which has priced its consumer genomics product at $985. Like the Decode service, 23andMe’s service allows consumers to compare their genomes to family and friends that also participate.
 
Navigenics, another company that recently announced a similar service and will use Affymetrix's genotyping technology, plans to market its personal genomics offering for $2,500.
 
Privately held 23andMe is backed in part by a nearly $4 million investment from Google.
 
Illumina CEO Jay Flatley said in a statement that the consumer genomics services “will open up a new world of genetic awareness that could complement traditional research efforts in ways we haven't even considered."

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