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Google Buys Minority Stake in 'Personal Genomics' Startup

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Google has become a minority owner of early-stage personal genomics company 23andMe after investing $3.9 million as part of a Series A round of private-equity financing, Google said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission today.
Other investors in the round include Genentech, New Enterprise Associates, and MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures. Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson is a Google director.
23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki, who is married to Google president of technology and co-founder Sergey Brin, said in a statement announcing the funding yesterday that her company aims to "connect people with their genetic information" by allowing them to learn about their ancestry and inherited traits.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company hopes to eventually allow many individuals to "work together to advance the overall understanding of the human genome.”
23andMe's other co-founder, Linda Avey, has in the past worked for Affymetrix and Perlegen, according to the company's website. The site lists Avey's primary interest as "the acceleration of personalized medicine, using genetic profiles to target the right drug to the right person at the correct dose."
“Our goal is to connect you to the 23 paired volumes of your own genetic blueprint (plus your mitochondrial DNA), bringing you personal insight into ancestry, genealogy, and inherited traits,” the website said. “By connecting you to others, we can also help put your genome into the larger context of human commonality and diversity.
“Toward this goal, we are building on recent advances in DNA analysis technologies to enable broad, secure, and private access to trustworthy and accurate individual genetic information,” the company added. “Combined with educational and scientific resources with which to interpret and understand it, your genome will soon become personal in a whole new way.”
Brin previously invested $2.6 million in interim financing in 23andMe, which has been repaid through these Series A investments, Google stated in an SEC document.

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